Dear Lemon Lima Reviews

  • May 14, 2019

    Firstly, I want to congratulate this movie on accurately portraying teenage relationships. There are many things in this movie that I have no or little experience around, indigenous Alaskans and appropriation of their culture, private school, suicide, etc. But for the majority of high school in America the experience is homogeneous and this movie has a much more realistic portrayal than others I've seen. The kinds of casual and outright racism in this movie are ones I can recognize from what I've witnessed and may or may not be indicative of the treatment of indigenous people in Alaska, I wouldn't know. This suspense of belief is helpful for me, I have nothing to compare it to I'm not Alaskan. Otherwise, the major issue people have with this movie is the cookie cutter plot, I'd like to rebut that stance. If you summarize the movie then yes, the plot is cookie cutter. Girl likes guy, guy is a jerk, she joins a competition and pulls a group of outcasts to victory against him. It is an idea done a million times, but the difference here is the execution and characters. The behavior of Philip in the movie is disguised manipulation, it is an asshole high schooler at best and at worst resembles abusive behavior. The execution of this through polite advice meant to put down Vanessa and a disregard for her emotions is much more down to earth than the standard movie approach, and is a shoe in for the kind of things teenage boys will do/say. The ending of the movie is predictable sure, but the filmmakers knew this, they didn't have flashy cinematography or a training sequence or a crazy rush to the finish line, instead they focused on the characters and how they'd grown. For example when nothing wins the bar challenge the whole time she's looking at her parents as they cheer her on and the focus is on her hugging her dad when she wins, not the losing sides defeat. Another example, blonde girl (I forgot her name but the mean one, Samantha maybe?) has joined team F and during one of their wins starts screaming about team grizzly and insulting them, it's then that Vanessa and others correct her about how in the original competition all tribes won and they were all part of a community, blonde then responds that team grizzly is hardly part of their community but that Vanessa and her team are a part of my- pause- our community. The topic of strict/helicopter parenting is also well represented, gender roles are enforced upon Hercules by his parents and he isn't allowed to show any weakness, the cinematography in the scene where he released his pet rabbit was phenomenal and the way the scene he (TW: suicide) killed himself mirrored the rabbit scene. Hercules was by far my favorite character and his parents cruel parenting style always came across perfectly realistic, there are plenty of children living in households like his and it's a bad environment. When his family forbids him from seeing Vanessa ever again because she's half native, they comment it's in her genes that she'll turn out bad later (this is a terrible but common held racist belief). There are multiple scenes where Vanessa is upheld for "honoring her heritage" when she, multiple times, has said she's more white than Indigenous. Navigating multiple identities in race is difficult, and my favorite example of this kind of phenomenon is when in her native appreciation class the teacher points her out as "the only native American in our class" when she tells him she is white he says " see how our only Indigenous student claims she's white? You must mean you've assimilated into white culture" It is also a point that Vanessa got a native American female scholarship when she identifies with white, only her father was an indigenous american. When Vanessa makes a presentation on the scholarship in her class she states plain facts, and the teacher cuts her off, she then says she isn't done and goes on to claim the schools founder was a bigot who created the scholarship to erase his reputation as a racist. She is then called into the principles office, who tells her how her teacher is the founders grandson. She referenced that power can be silent, like the mountains. It is implied she is trying to silence Vanessa, and the use of metaphor in the scene is very realistic to comments from school faculty I've gotten for outspoken behaviors. Vanessa also makes two speeches throughout the film, (I think) both are well written like poems even, and are criticized by Philip. Decent soundtrack, no standouts, phenomenal camera and color work though. The cute aesthetic is used effectively in the movie and I'd like to think the cutest aesthetic and marketing was used to lure in the teen girls who needed to hear the movies message. (If I'm using any improper terms I'm sorry I'm working off of the movie alone, I'd appreciate constructive feedback) I have a lot more to say but this review is already so long, I went into this movie expecting it to be utter rom com trash and got an extremely pleasent suprise in Dear, lemon lima.

    Firstly, I want to congratulate this movie on accurately portraying teenage relationships. There are many things in this movie that I have no or little experience around, indigenous Alaskans and appropriation of their culture, private school, suicide, etc. But for the majority of high school in America the experience is homogeneous and this movie has a much more realistic portrayal than others I've seen. The kinds of casual and outright racism in this movie are ones I can recognize from what I've witnessed and may or may not be indicative of the treatment of indigenous people in Alaska, I wouldn't know. This suspense of belief is helpful for me, I have nothing to compare it to I'm not Alaskan. Otherwise, the major issue people have with this movie is the cookie cutter plot, I'd like to rebut that stance. If you summarize the movie then yes, the plot is cookie cutter. Girl likes guy, guy is a jerk, she joins a competition and pulls a group of outcasts to victory against him. It is an idea done a million times, but the difference here is the execution and characters. The behavior of Philip in the movie is disguised manipulation, it is an asshole high schooler at best and at worst resembles abusive behavior. The execution of this through polite advice meant to put down Vanessa and a disregard for her emotions is much more down to earth than the standard movie approach, and is a shoe in for the kind of things teenage boys will do/say. The ending of the movie is predictable sure, but the filmmakers knew this, they didn't have flashy cinematography or a training sequence or a crazy rush to the finish line, instead they focused on the characters and how they'd grown. For example when nothing wins the bar challenge the whole time she's looking at her parents as they cheer her on and the focus is on her hugging her dad when she wins, not the losing sides defeat. Another example, blonde girl (I forgot her name but the mean one, Samantha maybe?) has joined team F and during one of their wins starts screaming about team grizzly and insulting them, it's then that Vanessa and others correct her about how in the original competition all tribes won and they were all part of a community, blonde then responds that team grizzly is hardly part of their community but that Vanessa and her team are a part of my- pause- our community. The topic of strict/helicopter parenting is also well represented, gender roles are enforced upon Hercules by his parents and he isn't allowed to show any weakness, the cinematography in the scene where he released his pet rabbit was phenomenal and the way the scene he (TW: suicide) killed himself mirrored the rabbit scene. Hercules was by far my favorite character and his parents cruel parenting style always came across perfectly realistic, there are plenty of children living in households like his and it's a bad environment. When his family forbids him from seeing Vanessa ever again because she's half native, they comment it's in her genes that she'll turn out bad later (this is a terrible but common held racist belief). There are multiple scenes where Vanessa is upheld for "honoring her heritage" when she, multiple times, has said she's more white than Indigenous. Navigating multiple identities in race is difficult, and my favorite example of this kind of phenomenon is when in her native appreciation class the teacher points her out as "the only native American in our class" when she tells him she is white he says " see how our only Indigenous student claims she's white? You must mean you've assimilated into white culture" It is also a point that Vanessa got a native American female scholarship when she identifies with white, only her father was an indigenous american. When Vanessa makes a presentation on the scholarship in her class she states plain facts, and the teacher cuts her off, she then says she isn't done and goes on to claim the schools founder was a bigot who created the scholarship to erase his reputation as a racist. She is then called into the principles office, who tells her how her teacher is the founders grandson. She referenced that power can be silent, like the mountains. It is implied she is trying to silence Vanessa, and the use of metaphor in the scene is very realistic to comments from school faculty I've gotten for outspoken behaviors. Vanessa also makes two speeches throughout the film, (I think) both are well written like poems even, and are criticized by Philip. Decent soundtrack, no standouts, phenomenal camera and color work though. The cute aesthetic is used effectively in the movie and I'd like to think the cutest aesthetic and marketing was used to lure in the teen girls who needed to hear the movies message. (If I'm using any improper terms I'm sorry I'm working off of the movie alone, I'd appreciate constructive feedback) I have a lot more to say but this review is already so long, I went into this movie expecting it to be utter rom com trash and got an extremely pleasent suprise in Dear, lemon lima.

  • Jun 06, 2015

    A cute family movie that's more mature and clever than I expected. Kinda felt like a Wes Anderson / Napoleon Dynamite collision.

    A cute family movie that's more mature and clever than I expected. Kinda felt like a Wes Anderson / Napoleon Dynamite collision.

  • Dec 13, 2014

    A great (but uneven) film for teenagers; occasionally touching.

    A great (but uneven) film for teenagers; occasionally touching.

  • Nov 11, 2013

    Dear lemon Lima is suppose to be a quirky coming of age comedy, but despite the really good script, it's direction and actors make for a disappointing and underwhelming film. the film confuses deadpan with dull, quirky with clumsy, and a meaningful message about friendship and being yourself with a wonky plot that's akin to someone falling down a flight of stairs and picking themselves up with a pose and "Ta-Da!". while watching this film i was hoping they take another shot at re-filming it, but with ifferent actor and director, because i can see my self laughing and enjoying this script and envisioning a better cast to work on it.

    Dear lemon Lima is suppose to be a quirky coming of age comedy, but despite the really good script, it's direction and actors make for a disappointing and underwhelming film. the film confuses deadpan with dull, quirky with clumsy, and a meaningful message about friendship and being yourself with a wonky plot that's akin to someone falling down a flight of stairs and picking themselves up with a pose and "Ta-Da!". while watching this film i was hoping they take another shot at re-filming it, but with ifferent actor and director, because i can see my self laughing and enjoying this script and envisioning a better cast to work on it.

  • Aug 10, 2013

    a nice movie very light and a different type story than the usual teen comedy. very nice.

    a nice movie very light and a different type story than the usual teen comedy. very nice.

  • Nicki M Super Reviewer
    Aug 02, 2013

    Cute coming of age film. Very colorful and pretty to look at with nice little story to it. I got a little bored by the very end, but I am a little older than the target audience. It does have a slightly dark theme so I would think this is for a mid teen rather than a tween. I liked the young cast and all the hair colours!

    Cute coming of age film. Very colorful and pretty to look at with nice little story to it. I got a little bored by the very end, but I am a little older than the target audience. It does have a slightly dark theme so I would think this is for a mid teen rather than a tween. I liked the young cast and all the hair colours!

  • Sep 25, 2012

    A favourite. The bunnies and rainbows were a bit much, but none-the-less, I enjoyed it.

    A favourite. The bunnies and rainbows were a bit much, but none-the-less, I enjoyed it.

  • Aug 25, 2012

    This is a super cute, clever little movie that frequently surprises you in small, pleasant ways. The teen cast is delightful.

    This is a super cute, clever little movie that frequently surprises you in small, pleasant ways. The teen cast is delightful.

  • Apr 02, 2012

    I couldn't even finish it.

    I couldn't even finish it.

  • Mar 07, 2012

    Nothing new here...move along. Ethan gave it a 3. He was generous.

    Nothing new here...move along. Ethan gave it a 3. He was generous.