Teen sensation Selena Gomez (Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place
) teams up with newcomer Joey King in this delightful coming-of-age comedy based on the best-selling books by Beverly Cleary. Ramona (King) is a little girl with a very big imagination and a nose for mischief. Her playful antics keep everyone in her loving family on their toes, including her older sister Beezus (Gomez), who's just trying to survive her first year of high school. Through all the ups and downs of childhood, Ramona and Beezus learn that anything’s possible when you believe in yourself and rely on each other.
Beverly Cleary fans will love Ramona and Beezus, a peppy, affectionately directed film based on the series of Cleary's children's books, starring the adorable, awkward Ramona Quimby. Ramona and Beezus manages to appeal to three distinctly different audiences--tweens, because of its heroine, played with winsome agility by the adorable Joey King; teens, because of the presence of actress-singer Selena Gomez as Beezus (short for Beatrice), the hapless Ramona's older sister; and adults, because of the great casting of the girls' parents, Bridget Moynahan and especially John Corbett. There's also a romantic sub-story involving Ramona's Aunt Bea, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, and a neighbor, Hobart (Josh Duhamel). But the star of this film, as with the Cleary books, is Ramona, the imaginative, active, creative, and sometimes lost-in-her-own-world 9-year-old, whose best intentions have a funny way of nearly always going awry. Ramona and Beezus is adapted from several of Cleary's books, and readers will recognize many of Ramona's escapades and mishaps. And perhaps surprisingly, they knit together to make a fine, cohesive family film--the cast interacts well together, especially King and Gomez, whose sisterly chemistry is adorable. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, including a really, really bad cooking incident, and the most creative accidental paint job ever perpetrated on a Jeep. But there's pathos too, and real family emotion, and there are a few teary scenes that make Ramona and Beezus that much more endearing. My 10-year-old companion pronounced it "awesome," "believable," and "really, really funny, with good music." Beverly Cleary fans of all ages will agree. --A.T. Hurley