Friday, October 29, 2021

Honey Girls: Movie Review

Cute and likable with no drama or comedy.

Honey Girls has an odd dichotomy – a huge popstar hosting a reality competition with a larger-than-life opportunity, but with no real stakes or obstacles. The drama is minimal, the comedy is minimal, it’s just a nice story about three girls becoming friends with good singing. The music is the main star, and you can definitely see the movie’s appeal to young teen girls.   2021

Directed by: Trey Fanjoy

Screenplay by: Sharon Price John, Mike Mariano and Cindy McCreery

Starring: Ashanti, Ava Grace, Aliyah Mastin and Frankie McNellis

Ashanti is the huge popstar Fancy G, is holding a reality competition to find the next big solo artist. The competition is staged like a big TV production: teen girls from all over the country are flown into the star’s mansion in LA, where they get to live like royalty, and then they have singing and dancing contests, where one-by-one they get eliminated. But this isn’t a big TV production. There are no TV cameras, no hosts, no duplicitous producers. The girls are all doing this because it could be their big break, but why is Fancy G doing this (other than her manager told her to)? No clue. It’s a lot of expense with no obvious revenue stream.

So we have this weird reality TV competition that isn’t a reality TV competition, and girls that want to become famous (but hint: their first viral video occurs so early on that they basically already are) with no real obstacles in getting there. The only villain is one of the competing girls’ mothers, but she’s a very minor character who also turns out to not be a villain. It’s just a cute story with limited emotional turns, no high-stakes drama, and minimal comedy.

The three main girls are Charlie (Ava Grace), Maya (Aliyah Mastin), and Alex (Frankie McNellis). I like all of them – they are cute, nice girls who all bond right away, and who are destined to become a popular group, naming themselves the Honey Girls. We don’t really get to know the girls well. There’s no real backstories, we don’t meet their parents, personalities are barely differentiated. It’s really only about how quickly they become friends and how well their voices mesh together. An early scene where the three girls write a song together really highlights how perfectly their voices complement one another. Honey Girls are destined for fame.

As is common with musicals, the singing isn’t done “live” but edited in later. And like most of today’s pop music, it’s highly processed. But it’s also likely to be very popular with the target audience - catchy, pop-y, and easy to like. Just like the movie – there’s not much to it, but it is likable.