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A Faith Journey Explored in Novel-Turned-Movie 'Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret'

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Are you there, God? It's Me, Margaret hits theaters Friday, April 28. Judy Blume is the author of the book of the same title and has kept the popular book off the silver screen until now. 

It's the coming-of-age story of an 11-year-old girl named Margaret, played by Abby Ryder Fortson. The actress points out, "A lot of the topics that are throughout the movie are what a lot of people deal with." 

Actress Kathy Bates who also appears in the film echoed that sentiment saying, "The book was written in 1970, but I think the themes in the book are timeless." 

slider img 2The author's honest portrayal of growing up is partly what makes the book, and now the movie, resonate with the audience. 

"I just knew that for the first time, I wanted to really tell the truth. It was my truth. I wanted to be honest. It was my honesty," Blume said. 

The heartfelt comedy also stars actress Rachel McAdams who summarized the story as "the awkwardness of being a person."

"Margaret is really about just finding yourself and finding your voice and just figuring everything out from religion to boys to everything," Fortson said. "That's what connects us. We're all changing. We're all just figuring ourselves out."

The movie follows the story of a girl searching for something and ultimately finds God. Kelly Fremon Craig, the movie's director, credits that spiritual discovery as one of the highlights of the story, and part of the reason she connected with it. She opened up about the subject of faith in the film during an exclusive interview with CBN News. 

Craig's first task was changing Blume's mind and getting permission to use the story. 

"I reached out to her with a very passionate letter about how much her books meant to me," she said. "You know, she really told you the truth about what it felt like growing up."

Part of that process was a spiritual one. 

"I was so struck by Margaret's spiritual journey," Craig said. "She reaches out for something greater, her faith in something." 

Ultimately Margaret starts to develop a relationship with God after finding Him in her room alone. 

"And I thought that was so beautiful," the director told CBN News. "I loved seeing this kid search for it in such an earnest way."

This spiritual pursuit is something with which Craig personally connected. 

"I love that she is struggling to find it in these, you know, in the sort of traditional places. Yeah. But she finds it alone in her room." 

The personal relationship Margaret finds comes at a quiet moment in her young life. She's on a search for her own religious identity. 

Craig said, "That's so beautiful. And moving to me. it was such a gorgeous depiction of that search for something larger."

The movie is in theaters now and is rated PG-13. Parental discretion is advised.

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