Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Dear Lemon Lima
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The film "Dear Lemon Lima" is an unexpected delight that repurposes almost every teen movie cliche imaginable into a sparkling and charming comedy that seems surprisingly fresh. I had no preconceived notions about the film and maybe that's why it caught me unaware--but this coming-of-age story is both offbeat and relatable. Many films that opt to go down the quirky route do so at the risk of losing genuine emotional resonance, but writer/director Suzi Yoonessi subtly balances the whimsy with a very solid heart. This one has it all. It is the journey of growing up, an embrace of first love, a tale of misfits coming together, and a triumph against adversity. Absolutely nothing new is offered in the way of plotting, but by delivering the narrative in a unique environment with an understated (and deadpan) tone--"Dear Lemon Lima" really does set itself apart from hundreds of other films covering similar territory. And it does so in a sweet and family friendly way.

The film focuses on an unlikely heroine played by Savanah Wiltfong. At the beginning, she is infatuated by an older boy (played with arrogant pomposity by a terrific Shayne Topp). However, Wiltfong is a bit of an awkward outsider and the couple are on distinctly different trajectories within the school's hierarchy. Falling in with a likable band of misfits, Wiltfong starts to understand what is really important in this life. When she takes an unlikely position of leadership in a major school competition, it's time for the misfits to band together as a team--one with integrity and heart! All sounds pretty standard, huh? Part of the film's uniqueness is its setting. Taking place in Alaska, the culture of the state and its native inhabitants plays a significant role in the narrative. The casual prejudice inherent in this mostly white school as well as the co-opting of native traditions for popular entertainment add an unusual dimension to the story. In fact, the big school competition is the Snowstorm Survival challenge!

I've encountered a number of comparisons being made between this film and "Juno." The matter-of-fact and offbeat line delivery certainly might bring this correlation to mind, but (in my opinion) this is an altogether different beast. First, this skews younger and evokes a more innocent time. And the tone varies significantly. Where Juno is hip, self-referential, and completely self-aware (that's not a criticism, I happen to love this about Juno)--"Dear Lemon Lima" uses its quirky and fantastical elements in the context of our heroine discovering her own inner strength. She is figuring out how to be empowered, how to be confident, how to be an adult and the film's quirkiness is a tool employed in establishing this journey to maturity and enlightenment. Somehow it fits--and, trust me, I'm no big fan of eccentricity that serves no purpose. Appropriate for family enjoyment, but entertaining for all--I found this unassuming picture to be full of charm. While I might have wished for the story to be more ambitious in its plotting, it is still an accomplished and effective addition to the coming-of-age movie genre. Sweet, simple and thoroughly winning. KGHarris, 7/11.
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on November 8, 2014
One of my kids recommended this movie to me. I was hesitant because, even as a teen, I never really cared for the "teen" movie genre. This is not an exciting movie. It is an incredibly thoughtful one. It keeps you thinking long after you watched it and you'll find that you have little to complain about if you enjoy this type of movie. Even though quite thoughtful, this movie deftly incorporates humor. You will laugh a lot, you will cry, and in some instances you will be laughing and crying. Keep the kleenex's handy.

I found the movie to be well-written and the acting superb. It reflects a confusing stage of growth with such sensitive intelligence and yet without being morose. Yes, there are some flat characters that are a bit cliche, but they are used appropriately in moving the story line along and they are not portrayed in a completely vacuous or a completely reprehensible light. Even the flat characters get an intelligent and gentle touch and some are given the chance to grow. I love the way the writers developed the characters without imposing too much of an adult sensibility. Somehow they captured that hard to define space between childhood and adulthood.

We enjoyed the mother's character. She is not too intense, allows her daughter some space, tries to provide a different perspective when necessary (without being pushy), and has a sense of humor. I guess I can relate to her because my parents approached parenting the same way. They didn't live my life for me, but there was no doubt they were there for me.

Vanessa's (main character) father is never seen in the movie, but his mother keeps an open line of communication through letters. Though she is never seen, the grandmother actually plays a pivotal role in Vanessa's growth process.

I love magical realism in literature and movies. "Dear Lemon Lima" has just the right amount. I feel like every person's life has a little bit of magical realism in it if they are willing to see it. I feel like these are the events in our lives when we realize that there is an entire world beyond just the physical and that our value is somehow more tied up in the intangible that we normally don't acknowlege. In this way the movie makes a nod to the rich spiritual searching in the lives of teens, even those who've been overtaken by the commercialism of our current society.

I want to watch this movie again. But I will wait a while, because right now I want to savor the beauty of my surprising first encounter.

SPOILERS FOLLOW:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is very little foul language in this movie. What a relief for my ears. In the winter games, one team calls themselves "fubar", but as far as I can remember the "f" word is never spoken, although it is blurred out in one scene.

One of the characters commits suicide. This is a very delicate issue and if you have a teen struggling with depression and suicide this might not be the movie for them. The script handles this in a very delicate way. I found it to be incredibly beautiful even though the Inuit beliefs of the after life differ from mine. There is no discussion of the value of human life and the need to try and draw on the strength of your community when suffering from depression or feeling like your life is of no value. I am fine with this but other parents may not be. You can always have a discussion with your child after the movie.

Note: I read a review that said it was not believable that the particular character who committed suicide would have done so. Sad to say at this age, it is hard to say who is a candidate for suicide. We never know what can push a kid into thinking their life isn't worth living. They of all people have fewer skills to deal with the blows that life sends, and they have a much harder time understanding and articulating how they feel. They also have a time being heard, because adults don't always take their struggles seriously. This is not a knock on adults, it is hard being a parent. We made it through, so we figure they will have the wherewithal to do the same thing. We need to take a step back and listen. (Talking to the choir).
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on June 7, 2016
Saw this movie with two kids 12 and 8. Definitely not a Disney movie but one with a fun vibe and a lesson learned. Both kids enjoyed it. SPOILER: There's one suggestive language and one suicide so consider kids' ages and maturity before sitting them down to this one.
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on July 13, 2016
Very cute movie about children. A young boy demonstrating that his parents wanted him to learn about rifles instead of "cigarettes" was realistic. Unlike the medifrauds who injected thousands of residents of the criminally blighted state of "Colorado" with live diphtheria during the bonded debt aspect of their extortions so as to have a multitude of cases of real lung disease to fraudulently attribute to "tobacco smoking", rifles were designed for, are exclusively used for, and do in fact kill many including the son of the inappropriately restrictive parents. The film was delightfully supportive of individuals thinking for themselves as distinct from the groupthink which classified them as "misfits".
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on December 24, 2014
A very refreshing take on awkward school misfits and their rise to empowerment through embracing themselves and their unique strengths. There was a unifying visual artistic theme throughout this film that was very pleasing. It was accomplished through the choice of colors, cursive fonts, girly trappings, teen art and doodles. Alaskan nature sets with actors juxtaposed in unusual ways reveal a cinematographic talent that I loved. The whole look of this film is clean and all its own. The music was also a very pleasing component to this film, fitting and original.

The bulk of the film is fairly light in the way it deals with the characters angst. It does however take a dark turn in the way it portrays the tragic result of meddling overprotective parents of one of the misfits. Quite powerful and real.

I likely am not the demographic this indie film had in mind when made but I loved it. Highly recommended.
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on March 5, 2016
This was an excellent movie! That said it is not a movie for everyone; if you do not like movies like Napoleon dynamite, gentleman broncos or moonrise kingdom then you might not like this movie as it has a different humor and feel than most movies.
This is about a girl who thinks she desperately loves a boy (who is undeserving and shallow) he dumps her, and is changing who he is to be more popular. She on the other hand through experiences and finding good friends realizes there is more to life than a simple shallow boy, and that she is someone who can be herself and like herself. There are a few great lessons intertwined throughout.
There is a mature dying snippet and while not graphic it could be disturbing for a young viewer.
This is an underdog movie at its finest, it has humor that is subtle and a bit disarming. The storyline was very good and I quite enjoyed it! The actors do a great job.
This is one I will be watching again and again!
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on November 3, 2014
One of my kids recommended this movie to me. I was hesitant because, even as a teen, I never really cared for the "teen" movie genre. This is not an exciting movie. It is an incredibly thoughtful one. It keeps you thinking long after you watched it and you'll find that you have little to complain about if you enjoy this type of movie. Even though quite thoughtful, this movie deftly incorporates humor. You will laugh a lot, you will cry, and in some instances you will be laughing and crying. Keep the kleenex's handy.

I found the movie to be well-written and the acting superb. It reflects a confusing stage of growth with such sensitive intelligence and yet without being morose. Yes, there are some flat characters that are a bit cliche, but they are used appropriately in moving the story line along and they are not portrayed in a completely vacuous or a completely reprehensible light. Even the flat characters get an intelligent and gentle touch and some are given the chance to grow. I love the way the writers developed the characters without imposing too much of an adult sensibility. Somehow they captured that hard to define space between childhood and adulthood.

We enjoyed the mother's character. She is not too intense, allows her daughter some space, tries to provide a different perspective when necessary (without being pushy), and has a sense of humor. I guess I can relate to her because my parents approached parenting the same way. They didn't live my life for me, but there was no doubt they were there for me.

Vanessa's (main character) father is never seen in the movie, but his mother keeps an open line of communication through letters. Though she is never seen, the grandmother actually plays a pivotal role in Vanessa's growth process.

I love magical realism in literature and movies. "Dear Lemon Lima" has just the right amount. I feel like every person's life has a little bit of magical realism in it if they are willing to see it. I feel like these are the events in our lives when we realize that there is an entire world beyond just the physical and that our value is somehow more tied up in the intangible that we normally don't acknowlege. In this way the movie makes a nod to the rich spiritual searching in the lives of teens, even those who've been overtaken by the commercialism of our current society.

I want to watch this movie again. But I will wait a while, because right now I want to savor the beauty of my surprising first encounter.

SPOILERS FOLLOW:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is very little foul language in this movie. What a relief for my ears. In the winter games, one team calls themselves "fubar", but as far as I can remember the "f" word is never spoken, although it is blurred out in one scene.

One of the characters commits suicide. This is a very delicate issue and if you have a teen struggling with depression and suicide this might not be the movie for them. The script handles this in a very delicate way. I found it to be incredibly beautiful even though the Inuit beliefs of the after life differ from mine. There is no discussion of the value of human life and the need to try and draw on the strength of your community when suffering from depression or feeling like your life is of no value. I am fine with this but other parents may not be. You can always have a discussion with your child after the movie.

Note: I read a review that said it was not believable that the particular character who committed suicide would have done so. Sad to say at this age, it is hard to say who is a candidate for suicide. We never know what can push a kid into thinking their life isn't worth living. They of all people have fewer skills to deal with the blows that life sends, and they have a much harder time understanding and articulating how they feel. They also have a time being heard, because adults don't always take their struggles seriously. This is not a knock on adults, it is hard being a parent. We made it through, so we figure they will have the wherewithal to do the same thing. We need to take a step back and listen. (Talking to the choir).
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on December 24, 2014
A very cute film about girl empowerment, community, and strength in numbers!
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on December 30, 2014
This is an absolutely inspiring movie, if you love empowerment and a little bit of crying watch this movie amazing!
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on April 2, 2016
I was expecting another generic coming of age movie and gave it a chance because the reviews were so great. Well no regrets after watching this film. The vibe was definitely not one that everyone would appreciate, if I am being totally honest, but for those who it speaks to, like myself, it's utterly relatable. This is definitely heartwarming, but not overly so. The characters in the film are strong and each has their own unique energy to bring to the story. There are some bittersweet and a few saddening moments, but that just makes it more realistic. For those of us who have ever felt out of place, whether it but childhood or as adults, this movie is worth a watch.
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