“Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” is the kind of coming-of-age story that isn’t produced enough with this amount of marketing.

Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.

“Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” is the kind of coming-of-age story that isn’t produced enough with this amount of marketing.

Director(s) Kelly Fremon Craig
Screenplay By Kelly Fremon Craig
Based On Adaptation of the Classic Novel By Judy Blume
Date Released (In Theaters) April 19, 2023
Date Released (In Theaters – Wide Release) April 28, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy, Drama, Youth
Duration 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Content Rating Rated PG-13
Noted Cast
Margaret Simon Abby Ryder Fortson
Sylvia Simon Kathy Bates
Nancy Wheeler Elle Graham
Barbara Rachel McAdams

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

In 1970, 12-year-old Margaret finds herself leaving the comforts of New York City for a New Jersey suburb, and this is sprung on her right after returning home for camp. She isn’t too sure about the move, as she is going into 6th grade, and there is a slew of things in life she knows is upcoming, so change is scary.

Thankfully though, while separated by a river, her grandmother Sylvia and her remain close, and with her mom becoming a housewife for now, she has more access to her than ever. But adults are but a small piece of the piece that make up Margaret’s life. Nancy, a girl down the street, enters Margaret’s life before she can even finish unpacking her room and through her, Margaret meets and hears about new friends, odd kids, and even is introduced to someone who may not be her first kiss but could become her first love.

Things To Note

  1. I didn’t read the book, so I came in blind

Why Is “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” Rated PG-13

  • Dialog: Mild Insults
  • Violence: None
  • Sexual Content: Implied nudity When Margaret Is Changing
  • Miscellaneous: Usual Coming of Age hijinks, conversations dealing with faith, and uncomfortable moments

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.


On the brink of puberty, which means first periods, serious crushes, and more, 11-year-old going on 12-year-old Margaret had more than enough going on in her life. But then, her parents move her to a new school, take her away from her paternal grandma, and force her to acclimate to new classmates who, thankfully, are nice but are sometimes a lot to deal with, on top of everything else.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Billy in “Forever My Girl,” Cassie in the “Ant-Man” franchise, and Priscilla in the “Trolls” franchise.


Sylvia Simon (Kathy Bates) and Margaret Simon (Abby Ryder Fortson)
Kathy Bates as Sylvia Simon and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Photo Credit: Dana Hawley

Sylvia is Margaret’s beloved grandmother who finds herself forced to have her own coming-of-age moment as she loses constant access to Margaret thanks to her son and daughter-in-law moving out of New York City.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Annie Wilkes in “Misery,” Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and other characters in the “American Horror Story” franchise, and Ruth Whitefeather Deldman in “Disjointed.”


Like Margaret, Nancy is a sixth-grader prepping for puberty, bras, crushes, and more, the best she can. One way of handling this, and creating some semblance of a safe space to explore and talk about what is happening, is her creation of a secret club between her, Margaret, and two others. Of which, she pushes herself to be the leader of, even though she is as much of a novice in life as the others.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Savannah Dillon in “Secrets of Sulphur Springs”


Barbara is Margaret’s mother, an art teacher at one time, but decided to trade that in for being a stay-at-home mom when she and Margaret’s father moved to New Jersey.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Regina George in “Mean Girls,” Christine Palmer in the “Doctor Strange” franchise, Irene Adler in the “Sherlock Holmes” franchise, and Allie in “The Notebook.”


Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)Recommended


It Goes Beyond The Usual Coming Of Age Tropes Seen In Productions Focused On Girls

For most coming-of-age productions featuring girls, there is usually a boy, and the various stages regarding being with a boy, as the end goal or the setup. That isn’t the case here. Margaret’s coming of age deals with firsts, like her first kiss and crush who could become a boyfriend, yes, but it is also about her developing independence away from her grandmother or parents. It’s her trying to reconcile her family coming from two different religions by exploring different faiths through her friends, and the film is just an overall reminder of the multitude of things a person goes through, but especially girls, who often have their journey to womanhood, and adulthood simplified in ways that are insulting.

How Comical It Is

Barbara (Rachel McAdams) and Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson)
Rachel McAdams as Barbara Dimon and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Photo Credit: Dana Hawley

“Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” isn’t trying to paint every coming of age moment as something to fear, mentally prep for, or present a dramatic moment. While Margaret does go through a lot as her maternal grandparents cause friction, and she deals with going from the influence of her parents and Sylvia to Nancy, and having to break away from her hold, while maintaining their friendship, It embraces the totality of growing up. This includes presenting awkward and comical moments. Be it Margaret wanting a bigger bust, as do her friends, and then doing a “We must increase our bust” ritual, to watching Margaret get a bit flustered with a boy, or cracking up as Nancy makes out with her bedpost.

What is presented here is a mix of funny moments, whether a boy or girl, never mind a grown man or woman.

Its Approach To Exploring Faith

Faith, as a topic in film, rarely is spoken about as often or depicted with such consideration as “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” without feeling heavy. Now, this isn’t to imply, as Margaret goes to a Jewish temple and a Baptist church and explores faiths, that this is done light-heartedly. Margaret may not be interviewing religious leaders, but her curiosity and interest in deepening her connection to God seem genuine. Especially as a means to shore up her faith in herself and to get some reassurance that things will be okay.

This journey is perhaps the most wonderful part of “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret,” as it is so rare to see someone so young explore their faith and seek a connection to God beyond spirituality. For outside of the overtly religious Fathom Events movies, faith is usually locked away for niche audiences, more often than not.

Adults Are Fleshed Out, But Not Competing With The Kids

From Sylvia dealing with the loneliness which comes from Margaret not filling her time to Barbara being disowned by her parents, the adults are shown to have lives outside of Margaret. I’d even submit the film adaptation pushes that, coming of age, isn’t exclusive to teens and tweens. Growing up isn’t just about puberty and bodily chemical changes but adapting to a new stage in life. Whether it is becoming a senior, the parent of a teenager ready to ask the harder-to-answer questions or even parents who realize that you lost your power to give your child ultimatums and have to live with their decisions or potentially live life without them.

Throughout the film, you truly see a balance of spreading the development around without feeling Margaret, or her friends, are Trojan Horses so the more seasoned actors can shine.

[ninja_tables id=”46802″]

Movie Poster - Are You There God It's Me, Margaret. (2023)
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. (2023) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
“Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” appears worthy of its source material and truly will become a classic film that many future generations watch.
It Goes Beyond The Usual Coming Of Age Tropes Seen In Productions Focused On Girls
How Comical It Is
Its Approach To Exploring Faith
Adults Are Fleshed Out, But Not Competing With The Kids

Listed Under Categories: ,

Follow, Like and Subscribe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.