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Raspberry Magic

February 16, 2013

Cinequest 2010

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RASPBERRY MAGIC is described as a “family drama” in the Cinequest program, and it certainly is a film to which you could take your preteens.  I am just not sure adults will appreciate this film on their own.

It is a very well made film, with the darling Lily Javaherpour playing Monica, the very intelligent oldest child of two parents who can’t seem to get their acts together.  Monica’s father loses his job and is trying to sell a children’s educational video that does not include a fun factor.  Monica’s mother is having her own problems as a freelance writer and takes to bed after her unemployed husband leaves the family.  This leaves 11 year old Monica to care for the home and her younger sister all by herself.

The story revolves around a science project that Monica has entered into a contest.  She is raising raspberry plants and experimenting with the results of touch on the leaves.  Her main competitor is a boy who created a robot that can read emotions.  Monica believes that if she can win the science fair then her family could be brought back together.

Unfortunately, this film plays out as it would on the ABC Family Channel.  Yes, it is a good film, it is beautiful and very well acted by both adults and children.  It is not, however, a film I would have paid to see unless I was taking young teens with me.  I am not quite sure there was even a lesson of any real value in this film, other than parents can act more immature than children when they are having problems.  Lily Javaherpour is lovely, the story is all wrapped up nicely (if improbably) in the end, and preteens will love it.  But it is a little too predictable for me as an adult, and I am not sure what place this has at a film festival vs. Nickelodeon television.

I would recommend this for adults looking for feel-good film and who also love watching family-style movies, and I would recommend taking any preteens with you.  It might be a great introduction to film festivals for the younger set; however adults may wish they had chosen something with a bit more substance.

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