Steeped in all the tropes of coming of agethe movie Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret It is a curious case. On the one hand, it could almost seem like a review of countless youth film titles that preceded it. Even more so if we consider that its release in Mexico was later – by a matter of days – than the Netflix film. You’re not invited to my bat mitzvah! (2023), with which it shares not only the genre, but also the religious theme. Strictly speaking, however, Margaret’s story is not actually the youngest of coming-of-age or puberty narratives. After all, the original book is more than 50 years old.
Based on the novel of the same name by American author Judy Blum, published in 1970, Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret tells how an almost 12-year-old girl faces many drastic changes in her life. After returning from a wonderful summer camp, her parents inform her that she must leave New York and move to the suburbs of New Jersey. And if losing her friends from the big city or separating her from her beloved New York grandmother were not enough anguish, Margaret also begins to pay attention to boys and the bodily changes that are coming her way. The sudden urge to grow arises in her.
You might also be interested in: You’re not invited to my bat mitzvah! – All about the movie with Adam Sandler
On the other hand, with so many shocks, the protagonist chooses to speak to God—or rather, the vague idea she has of an omnipresent deity—in search of someone with whom to share her desires and concerns. The only child of a Christian mother and a Jewish father, her parents decided not to instill any beliefs in her, to the point of her not even celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah. Consequently, what Margaret harbors is a very personal and zero-biased notion of “God.” However, everything becomes more complex when at school they ask her to write about her connection with religion; an opportunity to better understand her family and, why not, her place in the world.
Thus, two plot threads coexist in the film, where the second—Margaret’s “spiritual” journey and her approach to her roots—ends up being the most occasional and hasty in its resolution. But even so, it boasts the merit of showing us an important aspect of growing up, regardless of hormones and social acceptance, which is the evolution in the way we connect and understand ourselves with those who raised us, based on uncomfortable and unexpected questions. revelations.
Of uninhibited quality, Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret She talks openly about bras, menstruation and sanitary pads, with humor and openly. Although she lacks the irreverence and exaggerated naivety of good boys (2019), agrees in maintaining a valuable degree of comedy and tenderness in the way of approaching pubescents’ first approach to such a disconcerting and uncomfortable stage of life.
You might also be interested in: Good Guys – Movie Review
In the lead role, the young actor Abby Ryder Fortson shines, who years ago played little Cassie Lang in the first two films of the saga. Ant-Man. Her portrayal of Margaret might even echo that done by Elsie Fisher in Kayla’s life (2018). Not because of a particular trait, but because of the authentic sensitivity with which both – being so close to the age of their respective characters – express how difficult and embarrassing it is to say goodbye to childhood, through gestures and body language.
Margaret’s new friends also have opportunities to win the public’s affection. In short, not at the level of the wonderful quartet of the animated film Grid (2022), but they also make up an endearing group, although at risk of becoming the equivalent of the Plastics in the middle of the 70s. Above all, due to the leadership of Nancy, a very innocent prototype of Regina George whose arc in the film deserved much more attention.
who has long since overcome Mean girls (2004) is Rachel McAdams. She plays Barbara, Margaret’s luminous mother who, following the move, gives up teaching art classes and becomes a full-time housewife, blessed with charming chemistry with her husband Herb—a loving and fatherly Benny Safdie. and with enough expressiveness and charisma to reaffirm that with comedy, whether dramatic, romantic, youthful or any other subgenre, McAdams settles comfortably in his element. While in the role of Grandma Sylvia, a dramatic and slightly meddlesome Jewish woman from New York, Oscar winner Kathy Bates is a presence that, as always, is appreciated and enjoyed.
You might also be interested in: Kayla’s Life (Eighth Grade) – Movie Review
In the hands of the director and screenwriter Kelly Fremon Craig (My life at seventeen), the movie Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret manages to apply as the best dose of coming of age 2023, this type of narrative being something that is required year after year to warm our hearts. How much we see ourselves reflected will obviously vary depending on the character, the place and the time, but the mere principle of growing and taking the leap into the unknown is something that concerns us all. Not only in adolescence, but at any time during our journey through the world.
Antonio G. Spindola I have very bad memory. Out of solidarity with my memories, I choose to get lost too. Preferably, in a movie theater.