DEAR LEMON LIMA Thanks in part to her half-Eskimo heritage, brainy freshman Vanessa (Savanah Wiltfong) lands a scholarship at an exclusive public high school, where she finds herself unexpectedly ostracized by the blond, athletics-obsessed student body. "Why does God hate me so much?" she asks her diary, which she addresses to presumed imaginary friend Lemon Lima. She's not just being paranoid: The school banishes the physically unfit to a dungeon weight room, where Vanessa bonds with her fellow outcasts. And there is a vague air of racism in the community. (A classmate's father implies that "the native girl" will grow up to be some kind of freak: "It's in the genes, and there's no changing the chromosomes.") Vanessa is reluctant to be defined by ethnicity; refreshingly, Dear Lemon Lima works that reluctance into an antistereotyping argument. But the script gets mired in cliché, and the Sanrio-esque production design defines cute overload. Still, Lima's "Be yourself and you'll eventually find your tribe" moral is so well-meaning that we might as well be generous and grade on a curve — it's more appealing than anything Hollywood has recently offered the 8- to 13-year-old female demographic. Featuring recent Oscar winner Melissa Leo in a minor role as a dowdy mom whose parental strictness culminates disastrously in slo-mo montage. (Karina Longworth) (Culver Plaza)
Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!