Megan McDonald, the writer behind the beloved children’s series of books based on the Judy Moody character, teams up with television screenwriter Kathy Waugh and director John Schultz (Aliens in the Attic) to bring Judy (Jordana Beatty) to life along with her brother Stink (Parris Mosteller) and their funky Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) in this genuinely goofy adaptation that dares to remain faithful to its third-grade-reader roots by not pandering with inappropriate pop-cultural references to lure in teens or adults.
Judy just wants to have the best summer ever and has to contend with the fact that her best friends are off on far more exotic adventures in exciting locations (circus camp and chasing lost tribes in the jungle), but she soldiers on in the belief that thrill points are always on the horizon.
Even though there’s nothing racy at all anywhere in this adaptation, something about Judy reminded me of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City; possibly the fact that Judy is a Carrie-in-training — a self-centered character who refuses to think about the happiness of anyone other than herself. In a child, this trait is understandable and funny, but as she grows, she’s going to expect life to go according to her plan and end up more than a little bummed when it doesn’t. Grade: C-plus
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