Dear Lemon Lima, Suzi Yoonessi’s feature-length directorial debut, is possibly the cutest movie I’ve ever seen. The movie centers around a young Alaskan girl, Vanessa, who transfers schools to get her ex-boyfriend to notice her again. There, she meets and befriends a group of lovable social outcasts, and they form a team in hopes to win the school’s “Snowstorm Survivor” competition. The setup is formulaic, perhaps, but Yoonessi’s script takes it past cliché and into something worth watching. It reminds me a little of what a girl-centered Napoleon Dynamite would be, but a little more melancholy. Though there are definitely heavy moments, the whimsical animations and drawings throughout kept me from feeling totally depressed. It’s a cute coming-of-teenage story that I could still relate to at 21. The cast is wonderful; Savanah Wiltfong (Vanessa) reminds me a bit of Ellen Page, only quieter, and new Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo (Mrs. Howard) delivers a stunning frigid-mom performance that looms over parts of the film. Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond created some wonderful original music for the film that was the icing on the cupcake of Dear Lemon Lima’s adorableness. Check out the trailer below!
Check out the movie’s site for locations, release date is March 4, 2011: