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'Ramona and Beezus' is a charming family film Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Aug 06 2010 11:50 PM

From director Elizabeth Allen, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media comes “Ramona and Beezus,” a heartwarming tale of family.

This film tells the story of Ramona Quimby (Joey King), a young girl who is just a tad different than the rest of the kids her age. She has a vivid imagination that sometimes goes a little overboard. One person who is constantly tested is her sister Beezus (Selena Gomez).

As her days roll along, Ramona tries to be more “normal” to make life easier for everyone. That is until life throws her family a curve ball. Ramona’s father Bob (John Corbett) loses his job and her mother Dorothy (Bridget Moynahan) must go to work.

Ramona decides that she must help save the family from losing their home and begins to find ways to make money. With support from her Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin) she charges headfirst into each task. She also has a run-in with neighbor Hobart (Josh Dummel).

From a lemonade stand to auditioning for a peanut butter commercial, Ramona tries to help the family. In the process, she spends more time with her sister and dad and sees how all of this has been affecting their lives.

But when it’s all said and done, in all of Ramona’s craziness, they all find each other and learn the lesson that sometimes life isn’t always what you think it is — and that’s OK!

Final word: King is absolutely delightful as Ramona. There is something so comical, yet endearing, about this little actress. A lot of her performance can be found on her cute face and giggle.

Gomez is fine in her role as Beezus. She is the typical teenager in love and going through all of those emotions plus having a little sister who drives her nuts. I think a lot of people can relate to that.

Corbett and Moynahan are fun as the parents. This isn’t a huge stretch in character for either but they fit in nicely. Goodwin looks eerily like the young King; maybe she should have played the Mom. Dummel is cute and charming as Hobart, exactly what you’d expect from him.

The story for the film comes from Beverly Cleary’s beloved book series. Ramona and Beezus actually started out as supporting characters in the Henry Huggins series of books. The name Beezus is actually Beatrice, but Ramona, as a baby, couldn’t say Beatrice.

Other cast members include: Howie Kemp as Jason Spevack, Sierra McCormick as Susan, Sandra Oh as Ms. Meacham, Kathryn Zenna as Mrs. Kushner, Janet Wright as Grandma Kemp, Ruby Curtis as Willa Jean, and Hutch Dano as Henry Huggins.

Tubs of popcorn: I give “Ramona and Beezus” three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is a silly and fun look at a family that goes through what most families do, but with a little more color.

It is a little long for kids at almost two hours, and the story does lag in spots, but the children in the audience were giggling and having a good time. If you are a fan of the book series or know a reader who is, then this film won’t disappoint.

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