Honor’s Society

Where I Watched It: Paramount Plus

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

In the grand tradition of main characters breaking the fourth wall, Honor’s Society is looking to take the cake. We’ve had our share of teen films breaking the fourth wall, either directly like Ferris Bueller’s Day off or Clueless, or through thoughts inside the head of our protagonist like in Mean Girls. but, for our lead character here, I’m half surprised she didn’t come through my damn television and pull me into my life. She talks to the audience so frequently, I wouldn’t have been surprised if this film had taken some kind of odd Truman Show twist that revealed she knew her life was a TV show. It never goes there, but she becomes an obnoxious protagonist because everything she thinks she says to the audience.

I know that with the recent release of the Netflix adaptation of Persuasion, that people were taken aback by all that fourth wall breaking. Those people will hate this film. I normally don’t mind it, but Honor’s Society made me really reconsider how many times a character actually needs to talk to the audience. From the blind perspective, she does it so much that the audio description in this film seems to give up, because anytime they would normally interject because of a break in the dialogue, Honor is talking about some shit.Half the time, she’s effectively doing audio description herself, telling us what other characters are doing. It’s monotonous, and while we’re supposed to fall in love with the smart girl who is faking being vain to gain popularity, but then realizes she needs to achieve something that could put her popularity at risk, but must be done if she wants Harvard… but I just couldn’t.

Oddly enough, I did root for Gaten Matarazzo’s likable nerdy lab partner character, as he really does evolve in a way that was interesting, and it’s his character arc that truly forces Honor out of her little bubble, while he also maintains being the most interesting thing about this movie. His choices, and his reasons for his choices, all feel like you’ve been sideswiped by Agatha Christie. It’s a brilliant evolution of a character that relies on a lot of Stranger Things fans loving Dustin so much they don’t see anything else except their Upside Down hero.

Will you like Honor’s Society? I don’t know. Honestly, it didn’t work for me until the end, and it works for me in a way I’ll admit is at least borderline problematic. I’m not even sure I’m OK with all the reasons I like the film, but explaining that, would potentially spoil the only reason you might like this film. It’s a mixed bag, and while I initially wrote this thing off as tripe, due to excessive interaction with the audience like she’s Dora The Explorer or something, I found an ending that magically came together, and somehow felt at least a little earned. Maybe not for all the right reasons, but earned nevertheless.

Once again, Paramount Plus will kick you out before we ever learn who does the narration.

Final Grade: C+

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