Unlike last year’s Ramona and Beezus, I had not read the Judy Moody book (books?) and didn’t have any expectations for it. Its previews, however, had me pretty excited. A spunky red-haired girl (Pippi, anyone?) doing summer dares and generally getting into trouble all summer in a family-friendly, funny, nonviolent way, with a positive portrayal of females as something other than objects or token love interests? I’m in!
And the movie did not disappoint. From chasing Bigfoot to family growth and development, turning negative moments into positive ones, the span of friendship over distance and conflict and the wackiness that is only known to children, it was a completely wonderful movie that is likely appropriate for all ages (as long as you don’t mind blue vomit). While my family and I did like Ramona and Beezus a bit better, this film was still a solid A in my book. The titular character is stuck at home for what’s sure to be a dull summer while her friends and parents are off traveling or on other adventures.
She is sure that being stuck with an aunt she’s never met will be a big drag—until she meets said aunt, who is a world traveler and guerilla artists who inspires and supports her, answering “YES!” as much as possible (even if she is a little scatter-brained). Of course, her summer turns out to be the best summer ever, even if it’s not how she originally envisioned it—further teaching kiddos about mindfulness, riding out life as it comes toward us unexpectedly, and making punch out of lemonade.
Though the main character is a girl, there are plenty of boys in the movie, and it really does make for the perfect family movie for those interested in a movie night this week.