Ben Oliver

Banner image for Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

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24 February 2024

A young girl (Abby Ryder Fortson) moves from New York to the suburbs of New Jersey, and has to navigate friends, family, religion and growing up.

This comes from Kelly Fremon Craig, the director of the excellent The Edge of Seventeen1, and it’s clear she’s got an eye for these coming of age comedies because this is another winner.

Perhaps it doesn’t throw the rulebook out the window quite as much as the previous film, but it finds truth and humour in the unlikeliest of places at it sends its characters on a gentle journey toward adulthood. Tonally it’s an earnest balance between sweetness and reality, tinged with but not tainted by nostalgia. It’s set in 1970 which is when the Judy Blume novel it’s based on was published, and keeping it in the past helps keep the story honest rather than straying into the extra bullshit on smartphones kids have to manage today.

Rachel McAdams is always great, and makes for a warm and relatable mother. In fact none of the performances really miss the target.

The two main themes at play are growing up at different rates to your peers, and dealing with religion when your two parents aren’t from the same background. It’s a warm and gentle film but it tackles these ideas completely unflinchingly, yet somehow without any awkwardness. That’s the real trick Fremon Craig pulls off.

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