Ramona Quimby (Joey King) has two traits that define her more than anything else: she spends half of her time daydreaming and the rest annoying her elementary teacher with her made-up words. She doesn’t want to learn real words used in everyday speech, she wants use the words that she’s invented. And, besides the daydreaming and wordsmithing, the only other major thing going on in young Ramona’s life is that she was just informed that her family might be moving because her father, Robert (John Corbett -Sex and the City), was just laid off from his job. I remember moving when I was in the second grade and I hated it. And what Ramona does in response is what any child would do to gain more attention from their busy parents - she causes trouble.
I have to confess, I’ve never read any of the Ramona and Beezus books. With my being a twenty-seven year old male, it might have been a bit of a struggle to keep me interested in the hijinks of a precocious kiddo. But, going into RAMONA AND BEEZUS as a journalist, I kept an open mind.
Yes, this is a children’s film, but that doesn’t destroy its potential from being a great kids’ flick, or even just really cute. One of the best things about this movie is Ramona’s dream sequences. Remember when you were a child and you jumped off your roof for fun and the fall seemed endless? Director Elizabeth Allen achieves that feeling in these sequences. The best example of these sequences involves an amusing portion when a large hole is dislodged from the Quimbys’ house. Ramona and her pal spend hours dressing up and jumping off that three foot drop, but then Allen’s visions come into play and Ramona’s blanket transforms into a parachute and sees her floating for a large amount of time, even though us older folks know it took her about a second and a half to touch ground.
The initial message Allen and her team of writers (Laurie Craig and Nick Pustay) bring to this film is the importance of family bonding. It’s a difficult time for the Quimbys, as they are frustrated with both their current situation and one another. But, in the end, love brings them together, no matter what the outcome of their problems. I can vouch that RAMONA AND BEEZUS is a great film to bring the kiddos in your life to see. It’s both funny and imaginative, and it reaffirms why love is so important, even to the peskiest of little ones.