Review Written by Michael J. Ruhland
Michael's Movie Grade: A+
Review: This is my favorite movie so far this year. It is beautifully moving, really funny and heartbreakingly real.
This movie is a near perfect cinematic look at a very difficult time in many people's lives. What makes this work is how extremely real it is. This brought me back to what life was like for me during eighth grade and how happy I am to have made it threw that. Much of this realism comes from how true the main character rings. There is so much of ourselves (especially me) to be seen in this young girl. We all have felt her anxiety, and her desire to be more popular than she is. She is not perfect, but we can so easily see that she is a good person deep down inside. There are so many times that we just want to hug her and tell her that she can make it through. I found it near impossible not to connect with this character. I felt sad when she felt sad, and happy when she felt happy. This is enhanced by Elsie Fisher's amazing performance. Despite her problems our main character has, this is not a depressing film. A lot of this is due to the movie having a very important and helpful message about how so much of what we spend our time worrying about is very temporary. We know that things will only get better for our main character and what she is going through now will not last, and this makes us feel very proud of her for what she does. I wish I had seen this movie in middle school, as a message like that would have been very important to me, but I also feel that in some ways it even makes me feel better about my own axinites today. The film also features some great moments of humor and I laughed often while watching this film. A scene where she is praying especially made me grin.
All in all this is a must see movie and my favorite of the year so far.
-Michael J. Ruhland