Ramona and Beezus
By Betsy Bozdech,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Beloved book girl comes to life in sweet, kid-friendly tale.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate, but kids will take away important lessons about friendship, family, and self-confidence.
The movie is full of positive messages about the importance of family, believing in yourself, and being true to who you are. It embraces individuality, integrity, and imagination and suggests that it's never too late to do what you love or be a better version of yourself.
Positive Role Models
Sure, she's unpredictable and impetuous, but Ramona Quimby is also loyal, imaginative, hardworking, passionate, creative, curious, and enthusiastic. Her family and friends are ultimately supportive and loving, even if they do get frustrated with her sometimes. Ramona's parents -- especially her dad -- stay upbeat despite tough circumstances; her dad offers an example of someone finding a silver lining within what seems like a pretty dark cloud.
Violence & Scariness
Some slapstick falls, bumps, and bruises. A few scenes in which Ramona imagines scary things happening (thanks mostly to her sister's suggestions...). A brief kitchen fire. A pet's death is sad but handled gently.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses and embraces between adult couples. One teenage kiss (as well as some tentative flirting). A rekindled romance is one of the movie's key subplots.
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A few insults like "stupid" and "jerk." When Ramona wants to say a bad word, she chooses "guts."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults toast with champagne.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ramona and Beezus is an adaptation of Beverly Cleary's classic children's books about impulsive, imaginative Ramona Quimby and her older sister Beezus (played by tween favorite Selena Gomez). It's a sweet, age-appropriate story about family and friendship. The plot revolves around Ramona's father losing his job, which may resonate all too well for some families in today's economy, but the tone is light overall, and the ultimate message is that believing in yourself and the people you love can help overcome any obstacle. There are a few sad moments relating to a pet's death, as well as some mild flirting and kissing between both adult couples and a pair of teenagers. Ramona gets into her share of mischief, but she always intends well, and she apologizes when she makes mistakes.
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Ramona and Beezus
Based on 69 parent reviews
Best family movie we've watched in a while!!
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Don’t be fooled by the low star rating from common sense media
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What's the Story?
In RAMONA AND BEEZUS, grade-schooler Ramona Quimby (Joey King) lives with her family -- Mom (Bridget Moynahan), Dad (John Corbett), older sister Beezus (Selena Gomez), and baby sister Roberta -- on Portland's charming Klickitat Street. Everywhere she looks, Ramona sees the potential for adventure and imagination -- but even though she always means well, sometimes her enthusiasm leads to sticky situations ... and exasperated friends and family members. All of Ramona's optimism and imagination are put to the test when her dad unexpectedly loses his job; she's sure she can help save their house, whether that means selling homemade lemonade or auditioning for a TV commercial. Meanwhile, Ramona's Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin) is rekindling a romance with former high school sweetheart Hobart (Josh Duhamel), and Beezus starts looking at longtime friend Henry Huggins (Hutch Dano) in a new light.
Is It Any Good?
This book adaptation might not break any cinematic molds, but it's gentle, upbeat, and kid-friendly -- and that goes a long way. Fans of Beverly Cleary's beloved children's books about Ramona will quickly realize that Ramona and Beezus combines elements from more than one of them; the central job-loss storyline comes from Ramona and Her Father, while other incidents are borrowed from different books in the series. But while it may frustrate purists, the blending doesn't make the movie any less sweet or charming. Much of that is thanks to King -- she sells Ramona's particular mix of earnestness and mischievousness perfectly. You always believe her when she says she's sorry for her latest misadventure ... even though you know another one is just around the corner.
The rest of the cast is fine; Moynahan's character isn't particularly well developed, but Corbett's Mr. Quimby is warm and relatable -- his relationship with Ramona is one of the nicest things about the movie. Gomez, who's sure to be a big draw for tween fans (and also sings a song on the movie's soundtrack album), is cute as the often put-upon Beezus, and Duhamel is quite charismatic as reformed committmentphobe Hobart.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Ramona's behavior in Ramona and Beezus . Does she ever mean to get in trouble/make mistakes? Why does it sometimes happen anyway?
What makes Ramona different from other kids? Kids: How are you different from your friends and classmates? Does that ever feel like a bad thing? How do you handle that?
Is Ramona and Beezus' relationship believable? How well do you get along with your sibling(s)? What are the good and bad parts about having a brother and/or sister?
Fans of the Ramona books can talk about how the movie compares to what they've read. Which do you like better? Why?
How do the characters in Ramona and Beezus demonstrate curiosity and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?
- In theaters: July 23, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: November 9, 2010
- Cast: Bridget Moynahan, Joey King, John Corbett, Selena Gomez
- Director: Elizabeth Allen
- Inclusion Information: Latinx actors
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Curiosity, Integrity
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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