Monday, June 19, 2023

Honor Society (2022)

Streaming Service: Paramount +
Movie Name/Year: Honor Society (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 1h 38min
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Awesomeness Films, Guardian Pictures, Paramount +, Viacom International
Director: Oran Zegman
Writer: David A. Goodman
Actors: Angourie Rice, Gaten Matarazzo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Armani Jackson, Amy Keum, Kelcey Mawema, Avery Konrad, Michael P. Northey, Kerry Butler, Andres Collantes, Danny Wattley
Blurb from IMDb: Honor's sole focus is getting into Harvard. Willing to do whatever it takes, Honor concocts a plan to take down her top three competitors, until things take a turn when she unexpectedly falls for her biggest competition.

Selina’s Point of View:
Every time I thought I had Honor Society pegged, it hit a left turn.
Starting out, Honor Society had a recognizable formula. Viewers are shown a teen girl with ‘too much’ ambition. She’s willing to take down anyone in her path on the way to her goals. It’s a tried-and-true teen movie trope. There are about a million films out there that hit on the exact same thing.
I knew exactly what to expect and Honor Society used that against me.
Writer David A. Goodman (The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, The Pavilion, The Orville) must have seen every single one of those movies, because he knew exactly how to write a script that would throw people off. At about three quarters of the way through, I wound up confused because there seemed to be a full resolution with very few places to go. At which point he threw in a punch to the gut that took me a couple of minutes to fully digest.
I had two minor issues with Honor Society.
First of all, the super creepy guidance counselor never quite gets the come-uppance he deserves.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Promising Young Woman, The Disaster Artist, Trolls) was so upsetting as Mr. Calvin I found myself leaning away from the TV as if my body was trying to get as far away as possible. He played the part well, but that was roughly the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen in a teen comedy.
I have no issues including the triggering content, just that it feels like the character never gets what he deserves.
The other issue is that the narration gets a bit tedious.
Honor Rose, the main character played by Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Ladies in Black), consistently talks to the camera. Now, I don’t have a problem with that in general. My favorite movie of all time utilizes a similar framing. That said, in Honor Society it came across as if the movie was telling me a lot without showing me. It was as if the otherwise well-told story was served up alongside a gnat buzzing in my ear. It became fine as the movie went on, but up until about 25-minutes in I found myself rolling my eyes a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, Rice was perfect for the role she played. My issue was the way the narration was utilized, not with her delivery.
Despite the minor concerns, I would absolutely recommend Honor Society.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 79%
Metascore – 66%
Metacritic User Score – 6.5
IMDB Score – 6.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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