Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret: Read the first reviews of the new coming-of-age drama

If you love a good coming-of-age drama, then make a note in your diary as Kelly Fremon Craig's long-awaited Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret opens at Cineworld cinemas this Friday (May 19th). Adapted from the classic 1970 novel by Judy Blume, this poignant film stars Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret, an 11-year-old who has to come to terms with a whole new set of feelings and emotions when her family uproots from New York City to the New Jersey suburbs.

Also featuring Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie as Margaret's parents, and Kathy Bates as her beloved grandmother Sylvia, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret went down a storm with Cineworld Unlimited members, who got a chance to see the movie at a special preview screening last week. But what have the critics made of it? Here, we round up some of the most memorable comments...



The Guardian's Lauren Mechling said of the film: "Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret... is destined to become a classic. Based on – but not entirely wedded to – Judy Blume’s seminal 1970 novel of the same name, the film is an entertaining comedy that also happens to be a stunning evocation of the fear and yearning that come with standing on the precipice of adulthood."


Beth Webb of Empire was equally impressed with the movie, observing that "the relationships coursing through it make it a drama brimming with humour, vitality and empathy. The setbacks — from a nasty comment at school to Sylvia’s new loneliness — are heartbreaking, the wins moments of communal celebration."


Lisa Kennedy of The New York Times felt that Abby Ryder Fortson was particularly worthy of praise, writing: "From the moment the soon-to-be sixth grader utters the movie’s first prayer — which ends with the entreaty, 'Please don’t let New Jersey be too horrible' — Fortson’s Margaret proves to be a protagonist who is as incidentally funny as she is authentic."


As for Roger Ebert, he paid tribute to Rachel McAdams' performance. On his website, he wrote: "In the hands of McAdams, one of her generation's most emotionally charged performers, Barbara becomes more than just a stereotypical overworked mom. Her warmth radiates throughout the film, as she must be both a safe harbor for Margaret’s ever-changing moods and also a ship on her own rocky journey toward self-actualization."



Los Angeles Times reviewer Katie Walsh hailed the movie's director, commenting: "Fremon Craig brings a fluidity and easy rhythm to the film, which is highly specific to its 1970 setting but fresh and contemporary too. It remains true to the book but also highlights that so many of these questions and issues remain the same, five decades later."


Variety critic Amy Nicholson enjoyed the film, but felt that it wasn't quite perfect. "There’s plenty in here to treasure," she wrote, before adding, "As charming as the film is in its best moments, it’s hard not to be frustrated as it backpedals from the book’s awareness that not all wrongs are righted."


Finally, Fletcher Peters from The Daily Beast reckoned that the movie has universal appeal, saying: "This adaptation isn’t just for young teen girls in health classes – it’s witty and heartwarming enough to please every audience member, no matter their age, gender identity, or relationship with the book."