Classic of the Week: A Taste of Honey (1961)

A Taste of Honey is a 1961 British film adaptation of the 1958 play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney. The film is directed by Tony Richardson, who also directed the play on stage.

The film follows a teenage girl named Jo and her mother Hellen as they moved their few belongings across Manchester on a bus. Jo’s mum is an alcoholic who becomes engaged to a much younger and wealthier man. Jo meets an older fellow who works on ships and they eventually fall in love and and have sex, before having to set sail. He assures he’d be back soon, but never comes back. She ends up moving into a ramshackle home with a gay friend and finds out she is pregnant.

This film is so realistic, you almost feel as if you’re watching a documentary and not something fictional. The acting is great from all the main stars, but much of the movie is so slow, it’s boring. This is an extremely depressing film as well, mostly just sad scenes and a few somewhat happy ones. Although the acting is superb, the main characters are all hard to like. Helen is a heavy drinking, money spending and self centered lady, Jo complains too much and ends up with a baby as a teen, Jimmy is far too nice at first, then gets Jo pregnant and leaves, Helen’s fiancé is a jerk and hates Jo and Geoffrey (Jo’s roommate) is not too bright and far too sweet.

Even though this a a rather dull film, it is still relevant in this day in time with today’s “Teen Moms,” only without much of the trash that’s seen on TV and in movies. This movie is raw and straightforward. It shows the life of a teenage mother who is forced to decide wether to have the baby or not.

I cannot imagine this story ever being a stage production, because it was hard to sit through much of this film without yawning. Despite this, it is a powerful learning tool in the life of a teen parent and the struggles they go through. There is not one ounce of humor or glory, only short lived romance and much extremely heartbreaking scenes. This movie was controversial fr the time, being the use of single mothers, homosexuality, inter-racial kissing and underage parenting. It was banned in several countries, despite bing a critical success and award winner.

If you want a movie about underage motherhood that’s more uplifting try Juno. If yo want want a serious one on the subject, try this one, you’ll either love it or hate it. You’d think with such a strong message and raw storyline, this film would have been better to me, but I was thoroughly bored throughout. The writers and directors could have done a better job with this piece. 18 & up 3/5

The Lighthouse (2019)

The Lighthouse is a 2019 psychological thriller horror film directed by Robert Eggers and stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two lighthouse keepers who lose sanity when a storm leaves them stranded on a mysterious New England island in the 1890s. The film is shot in entirely black and white.

This film has an Edgar Allen Poe meets James Joyce, meets art film feel to it. It starts out really slow, actually very boring, but does eventually pick up, but it then goes in a pattern, intense to slow. It isn’t consistently intense. Some scenes last too long. They go insane from boredom, no other people around, missing their family, the constant sound of the foghorn, cabin fever and drunkenness, so that explains a lot of the bizarre scenes, but there are far too many of those parts.

The two keepers start out as sort of pals, then become best friends, then eventually enemies. They end up hurting each other, physically and mentally. They found out truths about each other, good and bad. They don’t do much but watch, clean, paint, repair, etc. on the lighthouse, fish and trap lobsters, cook clean, eat, sleep, drink and read a few of the books they have. They do sing and dance in a couple of scenes, which are only part of a small portion of happier segments.

This film takes place entirely on the mysterious island, which doesn’t make it extremely interesting, nor entertaining. It is filled with hallucinations, disturbing scenes, depressing parts and slow segments as well. Very little about this film is happy. It has nothing to make you laugh or cry. It is very bizarre and distressing. There is almost too much bizarreness. It needed more happy scenarios.

Both Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are equally fantastic in this film, but they don’t make the story and the actual film a whole lot better. I hate to say this film was awful, because it has two award winning and outstanding actors in it, but it was still just that bad. Slow, disturbing and depressing and no other setting but that island. I don’t understand how this film has gotten the praise it has, because it doesn’t deserve any of it. I love Pattinson and Dafoe, but they can do MUCH better. 18+ 2/5