The movie "Ramona and Beezus" is based on the popular series of books written by Beverly Cleary. Cleary fans will recognize the familiar cast of characters: Ramona and big sister Beezus, favorite Aunt Bea, neighbor Howie and his sticky baby sister Willa Jean, Picky-picky the cat, and Susan with the irresistible boingy curls. The movie combines scenes from several different books (rather than from the single book "Beezus and Ramona"). Ramona Quimby’s “terrrifical” imagination always seems to get her into trouble -- unlike her practically perfect (and annoying and teasy and bossy) older sister Beezus (played by Selena Gomez of "Wizards of Waverly Place").
The plot centers on the Quimby family’s struggle to make it through Dad’s layoff. The layoff couldn’t come at a worse time: builders have just knocked a hole through the too-small house in order to build another bedroom so that Ramona and Beezus won’t have to share. Too late to cancel the bank loan now, Mom goes back to work. Aunt Bea, Ramona’s confidante and favorite grown-up, says she’ll always be there for Ramona, but she promptly goes and falls in love. And everything Ramona does to help only makes matters worse.
There are four important relationships in the film: Ramona and Beezus, Ramona and her dad (played by John Corbett of "My Big, Fat Greek Wedding"), Beezus and Henry Huggins, and Aunt Bea and Hogart. These subplots ensure there's something for everyone. My entire family—from 7 to 17, male and female, parents included—all really enjoyed the movie.
"Ramona and Beezus" is a fun, light-hearted film with laugh-out-loud moments that capture the ups and downs, thrills and spills, tragedies and triumphs that make a family. If you love Beverly Cleary’s "Ramona" books, you’re sure to love this modern adaptation. And if you’ve never read the books, go see the movie; then, spend the rest of the summer reading the books with your kids.
"Ramona and Beezus," a G-rated film, opens Friday, July 23, and is showing at several theaters throughout the St. Louis area, including Wehrenberg Theatres, Great Escape Theatres, and AMC Theatres.
Shannon Moore and her family have lived in a number of different cities throughout the U.S. but calls St. Louis home. With five children between the ages of 20 and 7, she values activities that can span a wide range of ages and interests. She loves reading and is a faithful fan of the library’s summer reading program. A stay-at-home mom for 20 years, Shannon now teaches writing at St. Charles Community College. She is a freelance writer and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Shannon blogs about childrens' books at www.greatbooksforchildren.com. Contact Shannon.