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Rachel McAdams: How This Role Prepared Her for Motherhood

Rachel McAdams: How This Role Prepared Her for Motherhood

Movieguide® Contributor 

Rachel McAdams’ role as mom to the titular character in ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET says is a good “test run” for when her young children reach the preteen years. 

“It’s a lot easier to talk about uncomfortable things through the lens of a story, a movie, other characters, let’s just pretend with them. So, you know, it can be a bit of a way in for parents who are freaked out about that coming up,” McAdams told Movieguide® TV host Evy Carroll. 

The coming-of-age dramedy centers around Margaret as she struggles through the awkward time of puberty and self-discovery. 

“There were scenes where it was like, ‘This is good preparation for me,’ you know, for down the road. I’m glad I’m getting this test run,” McAdams said. “You know, because yeah, they’re not easy conversations [and] are so necessary and awkward, but you can really push through and get your teeth in there.” 

The mother of two can relate to her character, Barbara, as she attempts to balance family and work but also remembers what it was like to be Margaret’s age as well. 

“Coming to this as a mom was very different for me,” she told ET. “To see through those eyes, you just remind yourself of what it was to be that age, and how hard it was. I’m like, ‘Oh, don’t worry about that stuff.’ But of course, you’re worrying about that stuff. That’s so sort of patronizing to say, ‘It’ll be fine.’ So, you gotta get back in your 12-year-old skin and realize how much everything mattered.”   

THE NOTEBOOK star said that she was able to draw on the “messiness” and the “privilege of watching a child grow up” for her character. 

“I think that’s a really lucky place, a spot to be in, and I think Barb feels that,” McAdams told PEOPLE magazine. 

A central theme of ARE YOU THERE GOD? is Margaret’s spiritual journey as she visits different places of worship, examines different faiths and often prays to God in the movie. 

“I think honestly, she’s just searching for a friend. She’s feeling very alone. She’s moving. She’s transported to a new place, but she knows no one. She is really searching just for someone to talk to someone to just listen to her,” said Abby Ryder Fortson, who plays Margaret. 

“What she’s trying to figure out is just who she is really and what religion means to her. And I think that’s always a really great thing to be questioning. And I think in the film, I think it’s talked about in a really sensitive way, and I really love how it’s done,” Fortson added.  

Part of Movieguide®’s review of ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET reads: 

ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET is a coming-of-age movie about a young teenage girl growing to maturity and searching for God. Margaret is sad when she finds out her family’s moving from New York City. However, on arriving in New Jersey, she meets a girl in her grade named Nancy. Nancy’s focused on puberty and boys. She forms a club to just talk about those things. Margaret is more interested in finding out about faith in God and starts praying aloud.

ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET is well made, with a fabulous lead performance. It has a strong moral worldview about looking for God, but the characters talk a lot about bodies changing during puberty. The movie suggests religion is flawed and doesn’t mention Jesus. However, it says a personal relationship with God is good. In addition to discussions about puberty, the movie shows a cartoon image of a man’s private parts from an anatomy book and has 16 obscenities and one strong profanity. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for the content in ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.