Bottom line: Ramona and Beezus brings Ramona to the big screen in a way that is more charming and thoughtful than silly and rambunctious like the books. While there are funny moments revolving around Ramona's inherent ability to cause a ruckus, there are also many moments that may require a tissue or two (mainly for the adults). Generally speaking, this is not a movie that very young children will be able to sit through.MPAA Rating: G
Runtime: 104 min.
Guide age recommendation: 6+
Starring: Selena Gomez, Joey King, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Ginnifer Goodwin
Release Date: July 23, 2010
Ramona and Beezus - Overview
The life of a middle child can be difficult, and so it is for Ramona Quimby. Big sister Beezus is perfect -- getting straight A's and always making mom and dad proud -- and baby Roberta, well, everything she does is cute. Then there's poor Ramona, stuck in the middle and always making a mess of things. To be truthful, even for a nine-year-old, Ramona does have a knack for causing chaos. Thankfully, she has a supportive family, and she can always rely on Aunt Bea, who understands what it's like to be the younger sister.
Whether it's at school or at home, Ramona's creative thinking is always getting her into trouble, and her wild imagination sometimes keeps her up at night. But when her family faces a real crisis -- the prospect of losing their house after her father loses his job -- Ramona fights her fears and determines to help save their family's home.
From lemonades stands to car washes to auditioning for a commercial, Ramona tries everything she can think of to earn the cash her parents need. But somehow, everything she tries ends up in disaster. Then, when Aunt Bea makes a decision that means she will soon move away, things go from bad to worse. Maybe Ramona should just run away too, or, maybe her heartfelt antics are just what her family needs in order to find the right path.
Ramona and Beezus - Guide Review for Parents
The Ramona books present the raw, often hilarious everyday adventures of a rambunctious kid, Ramona Quimby. First and foremost, the books are funny and fun for kids to read, but they also provide an underlying, meaningful glimpse of childhood. The movie presents the same Ramona, but the emphasis is flipped, with the story focused on bringing out the meaningful picture of childhood -- its difficulties and uncertainties mixed with the innocence, determination and imagination that adults have often lost site of.
While the movie contains some funny moments and a bit of whimsy to entertain kids as well, the pace is slow, and the movie also contains tense family scenes. Kids who are old enough to read the Ramona books, or at least to enjoy having the books read to them, will likely enjoy the movie and relate to the events as portrayed through the eyes of a spirited little girl. Very young children, however, will not find this movie entertaining, and only the most mellow of under 5 kids will be able to sit through the whole thing.
Ramona and Beezus is rated G, but there are some scenes that may be tense or unsettling to young children. Ramona's father has lost his job, and this results in feelings of fear and uncertainty for the family. Ramona and her sister sometimes hear their parents arguing, and a comment from a girl at school leads Ramona to fear that her parents may get divorced. The movie also contains a couple of romantic subplots which result in a couple of kissing scenes. See "content overview" below for more details.
Ramona and Beezus - Content Overview*May contain spoilers.
- Violence (Low): Any violence in Ramona and Beezus is limited to mild sibling rivalry, jokes or pranks, and mishaps.
- Scary Scenes (Low): Very young kids may be slightly scared during a scene when Ramona runs away from home and is alone briefly.
- Sex/Nudity (Low): The movie contains some mild flirting and romantic references. There are three kissing scenes. One kissing scene is very pointed and passionate, but happens outside in front of family members. Another brief kissing scene occurs between a young boy and girl.
- Drugs and Alcohol (None)
- Language (Low): No profanity is used. A couple of rude words like "butt" or "jerk" are used.
- Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (Medium): Older sister Beezus sometimes teases Ramona, tries to scare her, or calls her a pest. Ramona gets into a lot of trouble and messes, but she generally does not intend to displease anyone, she is just prone to mishaps. A girl in Ramona's class is snooty and rude to Ramona.
- Sad/Unsettling Scenes (High): Ramona's father loses his job. Ramona and Beezus are scared and uncertain about their future, and they are particularly troubled when they hear their parents arguing, or when they see dad sleeping on the couch one night. A girl at school comments that when her father was laid off, her parents fought and then divorced. Beezus becomes angry at Ramona and accuses her of always messing everything up. This adds to Ramona's feelings that she can't do anything right and when her father gets upset with her as well, Ramona decides to run away. When the family cat dies, Ramona and Beezus find it and bury it themselves so that their parents won't have to deal with the added stress.
- Movie Topics Kids Might Have Questions About: Job loss, divorce, running away, death of a pet, relationships, marriage.