6.5/10
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6 user 34 critic

Dear Lemon Lima (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy | June 2009 (USA)
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Vanessa gets a dose of reality when Philip, her one true love, ends their relationship, again. The quirky teen enrolls in his school to win him back, but ends up making matters worse. ... See full summary »

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6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Megan Kennedy (as Meaghan Jette Martin)
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Principal Applebomb
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Coach Roach
Brian Bloch ...
Nate
Brian Goddard ...
Sean Walsh
Chase Wright Vanek ...
Jon Mongory (as Chase Vanek)
Michelle Pizzo ...
Jen
Savanah Wiltfong ...
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Eleanor Hutchins ...
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Maia Lee ...
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Norma
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Storyline

Vanessa gets a dose of reality when Philip, her one true love, ends their relationship, again. The quirky teen enrolls in his school to win him back, but ends up making matters worse. Downgraded to social outcast, Vanessa struggles to reclaim Phillip's affection. Luckily, when Vanessa is declared a captain for the school's Snowstorm Survivor competition, she assembles a team of likeminded misfits to prove they deserve to compete and hopefully win her love's heart again. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material and language | See all certifications »

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June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il diario di Vanessa  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Suzi Yoonessi attended Nichols high school in Buffalo, NY, which is the name of the school in the film. See more »

Quotes

Philip: Our intellectual incompatibility is off the charts.
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User Reviews

 
Finally a good, clean, family movie for all ages
30 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended the World Premiere of "Dear Lemon Lima," one of the highly anticipated "buzz films," at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Written and directed by Suzi Yoonessi, this classic coming-of-age story is told through the diary writings of 13-year-old Vanessa (the brilliant Savanah Wiltfong). As a young woman's world is bigger-than-life, the widescreen (2.35:1) format serves to enhance the "no boundaries" view that one experiences as a child. Cleverly quirky snippets of animation add humor where appropriate and were an audience favorite.

Set in Alaska, where her high school's Snowstorm Survivor competition reenacts rich Eskimo traditions, Vanessa and her unlikely band of teammates will battle against all odds to achieve greatness -- think a female "Revenge of the Nerds." "Dear Lemon Lima," has the look of a big budget film, with surprisingly high production values and top-notch art direction capturing perfectly the lush landscape and palette of nature's colors which few ever experience in this outlying region of America.

Academy Award nominee Melissa Leo ("Frozen River") is a delight as a teammate's mother and Shayne Topp is just this side of obnoxious as Vanessa's would-be boyfriend (he just took home the jury award for Outstanding Performance at the festival). Watch for Beth Grant as the over-the-top conservative school principal -- you'll swear she's reprising her role as Kitty Farmer in the classic "Donnie Darko" (a fact which she unashamedly admitted to me after the screening). Writer/director Yoonessi explained in the Q&A that Seattle subbed for Alaska due to budget constraints and beneficial tax credits, but it was important to cast a half-Eskimo actor to portray the character, and she was lucky to find young Wiltfong to fit the bill.

True family movies have become a rarity, and "Dear Lemon Lima," is good, clean fun for all ages. It's clear that this movie was a labor of love for cast and crew.


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