If there's a problem with the film, it's the lead performance by King, whose acting during much of the early part of the film consists of little more than making faces. To King's credit, the screenplay demands more of the actress as the story proceeds, and she's mostly up to it. Gomez does her best with what's she's given, but there's not much to her role.

That leaves the adult characters to carry film and they come through. In addition to Corbett's performance, a romantic subplot involving Ramona's Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a suitor (Josh Duhamel) gives the film a more mature appeal, even if the arc of their romance is somewhat predictable.

Ramona and Beezus isn't groundbreaking entertainment, nor is it something that demands a big-screen viewing experience. However, it's inoffensive, occasionally sweet and intermittently charming.


Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: "Butt out"; Ramona threatens to use a bad word, but can come up only with "guts"; "stupid"; "jerk"; "doofus."

  • Smoking/Drinking/Drugs: The parents raise a toast in honor of Ramona's new room.

  • Sex/Nudity: None; husband and wife kiss, as do newlyweds; Aunt Bea tells Ramona she wants to "strut" in front of an old boyfriend as a way of showing him "everything he missed out on"; Hobart invites Bea to come to his apartment in Alaska; a boy says he saw Ramona's underpants.

  • Disobedience: Ramona questions her teacher, hides her report card, and sprays toothpaste into the sink; Ramona is given to flights of fancy, and is accused of lying; Ramona tells her mother she's running away.

  • Marriage and Divorce: Ramona's classmate explains that parental arguments lead to divorce; the sisters hear their parents argue, then see their dad preparing to sleep on the couch for the night; a wedding scene.

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  • Violence: Ramona falls from jungle-gym rings into mud; Beezus spits lemonade onto a boy; a car being worked on rolls away, and paint spills on it; Ramona imagines scary things while lying in bed, and Beezus tries to frighten her; vomiting; a stovetop fire is extinguished; Ramona discovers that a beloved pet has died; a water fight involving hoses, water guns, etc.; Ramona falls through the attic floor.

  • Religion: A joke about Ramona's house being cursed, and being built over an ancient burial ground.