"Ramona and Beezus" is the sort of film that rarely gets made anymore. It's a clear throwback to the kinder, gentler style of family stories that were common in TV shows and movies of the 1950s. It's a genuine G-rated tale that centers on the life and times of Ramona, a rambunctious 9-year-old girl.
Based on the popular book, it deals with familiar themes of childhood and growing up in a mostly happy home. So many modern movies for kids deal with plots that are fantastic, outrageous or ridiculous. This one focuses on the everyday events of school, play, friendship and family interactions.
Thankfully, no talking animals, wizards or superheroes are involved.
Little Joey King is cute and clever as Ramona. Disney star Selena Gomez is her thoughtful teenage sister, Beezus. Their story is mostly played for fun, but drama enters when their dad suddenly loses his job. In the end, the resolution is appropriately sweet and simple. It's all so wholesome that every character would be right at home in an episode of "Father Knows Best" or "Leave It to Beaver."