Since it was first published in 1970, Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” has been a literary rite of passage for young girls. Though written decades ago, the book has remained timeless for its authentic portrayal of that exciting, yet horrifying chapter of female adolescence and all the milestones that come with it—including, but not limited to, that first period.
At long last, fans will get the chance to see this classic play out on the big screen. Movie adaptations of books tend to be hit-or-miss, but the fact that Judy Blume herself gave her seal of approval, even going so far as to say the film is “better than the book,” seems promising.
And judging by the reactions to the trailer released Jan. 12, I’d say that folks are hella optimistic.
A few key moments left people particularly excited and nostalgic:
1. The dreaded “changing bodies” school lecture
Oh, the joys of a stern teacher talking about blood flowing from the vagina at school. Maybe sex education has evolved over the years, but the awkwardness of anatomy conversations at a young age seems to be everlasting.
2. Margaret’s prayers to God that accurately sum up preteen girl angst
Even the nonreligious can relate on some level to just not being the weird one, to please, please, please, please just this once be normal while growing up, and wondering if this discomfort will ever go away. This is an essential part of the preteen experience for many, until we realize, of course, that we are much better off just celebrating who we are. And Margaret’s earnest prayers are obviously a major aspect of the book, given the title. Duh.
3. Margaret asking mom for a bra
Margaret and other girls can be seen clumsily experimenting with hairspray, curling irons and other grown-up beauty products in order to “fit in.” But the most coveted, most revered item of all, of course, is the bra.
4. Buying pads for the first time at the local drug store
The utter humiliation at finding out the clerk is a boy. Perfection.
5. And of course, the iconic line…
“We must, we must, we must increase our bust!”
That’s right, diehard Blume fans. The trailer has all that and more. Watch below:
Comments to trailers can be fairly mixed. However this one received a mountain of positivity.
“I lost track of how many times I read this book while growing up in the 70s. It’s amazing that it’s taken this long for it to be made into a movie!” wrote one person.
Another added, “I’m honestly surprised that a movie version of this book doesn’t already exist. But I guess it’s time. LOL I’m here for it. I remember reading this in fifth grade. Such a good book for young girls to read and realize that all the weirdness they are going through is normal. It will definitely be a good film viewing for today’s middle schoolers and for all the millennials, Xillennials and gen-Xers who grew up with the book.”
Perhaps Margaret’s story is so universal because it was inspired by a real-life experience. On her website, Blume shared that as a sixth grader, she did all the things—like stuffing her bra, doing exercises, lying about getting her period—because she yearned to develop into adulthood the way her classmates were (relatable). Blume put her longings to paper, and the rest is history.
Rather than putting it under a modern spin, the movie takes place in the ’70s, and spreads its focus across three generations between Margaret (played by Abby Ryder Fortson), her mother (played by Rachel McAdams), and her grandmother (played by Kathy Bates).
Bates indicated that the book’s original intention would be kept intact as she told People that “I think women throughout history have been taught to feel negatively about their bodies and about the processes that their bodies go through. I think this film will help young women feel better about their bodies.”
Whether for nostalgia, or for getting a sweet dose of feel-good comedy, you can see “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” in theaters April 28.