Movie: American Honey
My Rating: 3 stars
This movie is an odd creature. It’s the kind of thing that kept me thinking about it long after I was done watching it, but I still wasn’t quite sure whether you liked it or not. This movie came to me highly recommended. But, I can’t say it turned out to be exactly what I was expecting. It didn’t look like something I’d be into. I’m a bit tired of these coming-of-age movies about young adults, hitting the road to find themselves. Maybe I’ll come back around to them at some point, but for now, I find them to be both uncomfortable and wildly boring. Accordingly, I really wasn’t planning on seeing this movie at all until I heard a glowing review from someone whose taste I trust. So, I decided to give it a go.
The story is about a young woman, Star (played by Sasha Lane), who is attempting to escape from her miserable life by impulsively accepting a job with a group of travelling youths, selling magazines. It’s definitely one of those scams we’ve all heard about—employers praying on at-risk youths to fill out the ranks of their salesforce. These companies pay their salesmen almost nothing, but they drive these kids all over the country so that they can’t really leave the job unless they want to risk being stranded in a strange corner of the country. But, Star is desperate to escape her situation. That, and she’s lured into the job by the promise of romance with the rakish Jake, played by Shia LeBeouf. For some reason, lots of people can’t stand LeBeouf, saying he’s a whiny, little goober. But, I’ve never had a problem with him. Who else is gonna play these whiny goober roles? He was made for them. And, he’s perfect in this role as an unctuous, sleezeball. Plus, he kinda looks like my brother, and I have a soft spot in my heart for actors who resemble family members. And, Shia and Sasha Lane really do have a lot of on-screen chemistry.
This movie still turned out to be a little bit of the “finding oneself, road movie” that I thought it might be. So, I think the recommendation I received was a little bit inflated. But, it was still a lot better than most of the other movies in this genre. The characters are pretty compelling. And, while there isn’t much of a story, the mood that this movie creates is exhilarating. There’s a certain kind of energy you pick up from riding along in a van with a bunch of drunk, horny, twenty-year-old kids listening to really fun hip hop music. The soundtrack is so much fun. It’s worth the experience. So, I do recommend that you see this movie. It’s not a priority. It’s one of those films that I’d want you to get around to eventually. It’ll give you a lot to think about.