‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” Movie Review: All the Nostalgia and All the Feels

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret Movie Review

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. is a film I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. Having read the book as a child, I’ve held a special place in my heart for this story for nearly 30 years. Now, I’m finally getting the chance to experience it on the big screen. And it’s bringing back all the feels.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. is the film adaptation of the classic Judy Blume novel by the same name. Written over 50 years ago, this story is still relatable in 2023. The film follows Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson) as she’s uprooted from her life in New York City and moves to New Jersey with her mother and father. It’s the start of a new school year. And Margaret is heading into sixth grade while also dealing with all the tumultuous throes of puberty, developing new friendships, and navigating the question of religion and her relationship with God.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Movie Trailer

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret: What I Liked and Didn’t Like

For fans in their thirties and forties, the film will remind you of 1995’s coming-of-age flick Now and Then. While it doesn’t feel as mature, it has a very similar vibe. By comparison, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.‘s lead actress, Abby Ryder Fortson, is a bit younger in age. And she’s far more innocent in nature. She’s still in the process of figuring out who she is and what she stands for. And the journey she takes throughout the movie is not only relatable, but it’s also comedic, endearing, and thoughtful.

Rachel McAdams, Abby Ryder Fortson, and Benny Safdie
Rachel McAdams as Barbara Simon, Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon, Benny Safdie as Herb Simon / Photo Credit: Dana Hawley/Lionsgate

The Acting

Fortson is the real star here. While we’ve seen her on the big screen before, most recently as Cassie Lang in 2015’s Ant-Man and 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, this is the first time we’ve seen her front and center. Her performance here is nothing short of fantastic. She captures the reality, awkwardness, and tenderness that comes with growing up in middle school and all the emotions that come with it.

Rachel McAdams is also a ray of sunshine in this flick. Tackling the role of Barbara, Margaret’s mother, it’s clear that she is also still in the process of finding herself. Struggling to adjust to life outside the big city, she tries to take on a more traditional domestic role while also revisiting the relationship with her parents and attempting to figure out what she wants her future to look like.

Lastly, aside from Fortson, Kathy Bates’ Sylvia Simon was the most joyous character to watch in this flick. Providing continual comedic relief, Bates was a breath of fresh air amidst some of the film’s more serious moments.  

Kathy Bates as Sylvia Simon and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon
Kathy Bates as Sylvia Simon and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon / Photo Credit: Credit: Dana Hawley/Lionsgate

The Script

While the original novel was penned by Judy Blume, the screenplay was written by Kelly Fremon Craig, who also serves as the film’s director. The plot focuses heavily on the themes of family, friendship, and faith. Though, it never feels too heavy-handed. And its dialogue feels effortless yet effective, bringing the characters to life in a way that shows growth throughout the film.

Additionally, the balance of the lighthearted moments and the more serious moments creates a nice overall footing for the movie, which keeps it from feeling overly feminine. 

Abby Ryder Fortson and Amari Price in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
Abby Ryder Fortson and Amari Price / Photo Credit: Lionsgate


Needless to say, I adored Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. It’s a charming and uplifting movie that, while being a “chick-flick”, manages to tell a story that is both relatable and timeless. It dives deeper into what it’s like to be a teenage girl without getting preachy or making audiences roll their eyes. It’s a smart film that’s an absolute delight to watch, regardless of whether you’ve read the book.

But if you have read the book, the feelings of nostalgia are strong here. I cannot imagine a better film adaptation of this story. And with a movie with this much heart and characters that are this endearing, all I want at this point is for one of the streaming platforms to spin off a television series. Are you there, Netflix? 

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. is out in theaters April 28, 2023.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Movie Review

Grade: A

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret 60-Second Movie Review


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *