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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (2023)

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As you might rightly imagine, the coming-of-age tale of an eleven-year-old girl in New Jersey at the start of the Seventies is probably not what I'd be queueing up to see, and I am far from the target demographic, though still roughly about the right age. Wrong side of the pond as well as the gene pool, however.

The amazing thing really is how it took so long for Judy Blume's novel to make it to the big screen, as this has been ripe for a few decades too many already. The simple story of the titular Margaret and her experiences of reaching womanhood (getting her first period) and obtaining her first 'gro-bra' is very sweet and cast perfectly.


Also, her prayers to a God she doesn't understand through the purposeful inaction of a Jewish father and Christian mother puts her through something of a theological ringer too, at a time when this is just one of the things that is currently turning her world upside down.


This could easily have become a schmaltzy and biliously saccharin experience, or even mildly uncomfortable, if not in the right hands, and this is the reason for the 53-year wait. Blume had been notoriously cagey about allowing the rights to be sold to just anyone, but when The Edge of Seventeen director Kelly Fremon Craig wrote to her asking for the rights, Blume agreed finally, having seen Craig's previous work. With help from seminal producer James L Brooks, the beloved work was finally about to see its due moment on the silver screen.


And what a joy it ended up being, even for a fusty old bugger like me, only slightly older than the book. The book, loved by millions of young American girls in their youth now has a new life, while still keeping both feet planted firmly on the ground and in the realm and time it belongs.



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