If your experience of being 12 or 13 was anything like mine, you don't need a film like Dear Lemon Lima to help you to understand what adolescence can be like for a kid who is socially awkward, a loner, and/or a bit of a geek. That time in your own life now represents your own personal benchmark for hell.
If, however, you have nothing but fond memories of the years when you reigned as Queen of the Sleepover Circuit or King of the Street Hockey League – and you can't understand why your 12-year-old is more the reclusive caterpillar than the social butterfly – you may want to watch the short film Dear Lemon Lima with your preteen or teen.
Available for download on iTunes for $1.99, Dear Lemon Lima is a short film (11:54) about bouncing back after first heartbreak with Mr. Oh-So-Wrong (a 12-year-old who acts like a graduate of a soul-extracting franchise management program) and finding true friendship (with other kids who are marching to the sound of their own drummer).
The movie is funny and charming; and it provides a natural launching pad for conversations about what it's like to be a creative or sensitive person in a sometimes unthinking or unfeeling world: how it takes courage to walk that path, but how much easier that journey becomes once you find a community of like-minded souls to share the journey with.
The world can be a terribly lonely place when you're a square-peg 12 year old stuck in a classroom of round-peg kids: you need to know that there are triangular- and rectangular- and octagonal- and, yes, even square-peg kids waiting to meet you in the land of high school and beyond. You're only 12 for 365 days, after all, even if it feels like it lasts forever.
Note: Don't confuse the short film Dear Lemon Lima (11:54, released 2010, which filmmaker Suzi Yoonessi made as her thesis film while completing Columbia University's Graduate Film program) with the feature film Dear Lemon Lima (87 minutes, 2009, also directed by Yoonessi, but with a different tone and flavor).