As mentioned previously, I love the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. Assuming you had heard enough raving about the books here and here, I decided to change things up a bit for this last Ramona post. Normally, I am not a fan of turning fiction into film. There are a few exceptions, of course, including the Harry Potter series and Roald Dahl books. Recently, a film was produced by Walden Media titled “Ramona and Beezus.” There was quite a bit of hype about it, and mostly negative in the children’s litosphere. Understandably so, as Ramona and the Quimby family are positive literary fixtures, melded into the hearts of many children and adults nationwide. Turning this family into a motion picture feature had the possibility of ruining minds to the beauty of Beverly Cleary’s writing.
So, color me shocked when I fell in love with this film. I watched it thinking I would be so angry and never see a Selena Gomez performance ever again. Nope. I even shed a few tears. Okay, that’s not true, I bawled at the line, “Ramona, you are extraordinary.” Not kidding you, I cried so hard. While the film leaves a bit to be desired and tried too hard to fit in every wonderful Ramona scene from the novels, it still portrays the Quimby family pretty darn near to what they are. At least, in my opinion. I give literary and film critics full license to disagree and state their opinions for or against this film.
Ramona the Pest
by Beverly Cleary
Originally published in 1968