Can “Ramona and Beezus” Live Up To The Books And TV Show?

“Ramona and Beezus” opens today, and even though I loved the Ramona books, I’m feeling apprehensive. Ramona came in second only to Nancy Drew for me when I was a kid, and I tore through all seven books in the series in rapid succession. (An eighth book was released in 1999, but I’ve never checked that one out.) I loved Ramona for being a tomboy who tells it like it is, who isn’t afraid to get dirty, and who regularly exercises her out-there imagination. I loved that she butted heads with her too-sensible, too popularity-focused big sister, Beezus. And I guess that’s what has me nervous here. From the previews, it looks like these two get along way, way too well. Aren’t they supposed to be at odds until those special moments when (a) they realize the other is truly hurting and come together or (b) are trying to pull a fast one on their parents?

I guess the other issue here is that I loved the television version of “Ramona,” starring a very young Sarah Polley.

While this new Ramona looks almost identical to Sarah in the series—really, Selena Gomez as Beezus? Beezus isn’t supposed to be a gorgeous, perfect teenager; her whole damage is that she desperately wants to be gorgeous. And is it just me, or do John Corbett and Ginnifer Goodwin seem way too young and cute to be the parents here? The parents in the TV show are a more appropriate age and far less cutesy, and seem better able to deal with a major undercurrent in the books—that this is your average, lower middle class family that doesn’t have gobs of money hanging around. I mean, remember when they ate tongue to save money?

Will you be going to see this movie? And are you nostalgic for the old TV show?