Honeymood (2020) – Film Review

The existence of the ‘honeymoon period’ has never been called into question in a more hilarious or erratic way.

The night after the wedding ceremony usually has all of the unpredictability of a Lil Pump chorus, with emotions having already reached their peak hours before; tears of joy, uncontrollable laughter, the embarrassing speech from that uncle who’s had a little bit too much to drink. As it turns out, no wedding day is truly complete without a night of galavanting through the pulsating streets of Jerusalem and breaking every wedding vowel known to man (pardon my ignorance).

“Honeymood” is the latest release from Israeli Director Talya Lavie after her awarded-winning feature debut, Zero Motivation (2014). This time we’re following the journey of two newlyweds on the first night of their honeymoon. This should be the happiest day of their lives, but things start to unravel from the moment they step foot in their luxurious hotel suite. Just as the pair are settling into their swanky new surroundings, the bride, Eleanor (Avigail Harari) makes a startling discovery on her husband Roam’s (Ryan Danker) pocket. She finds a ring given to him as a wedding present by his ex-girlfriend. Adamant that she will not begin married life with “bad omen” Eleanor insists that the ring be returned to Roam’s ex that very same night (she doesn’t even change out of her wedding dress). What should have been a straightforward trip ends up setting off a sequence of events, which lead to the couple bouncing between the nostalgia of ex-lovers, the rush of new flames and the watchful eye of meddling parents. Think the manic rush of “Collateral“ meets the relationship security of “500 days of Summer”, also known as one big mess!

It’s clear throughout that the groom and his new wife are polar opposites, him being more pragmatic and her being more free-spirited. Sceptical of their love story, the groom’s father poses the question, “What’s more important in a relationship, feelings or suitability?” suggesting that the former is temporary and the latter is permanent.

It’s a refreshing twist on the age old happily-ever-after story where two people get married and all of the problems of their past are instantly resolved. In this story their problems are still with them, and more revealingly, they themselves are as much of the problem as the outside influences they face. However, you’ll have to wipe the tears of laughter out of your eyes to see those deep life messages. The two leads are charismatic and don’t miss a beat comedically. You’ll struggle to pick out your funniest moment out of the bunch (my personal favourite is an impromptu dance number with a group of gun-wielding university students).

By the end of it all you’ll be irreconcilably frustrated. There will be an overriding urge to reach into the screen and glue these two together with industrial-strength adhesive. Rather than it being an attempt to keep them together, your motivation will be to ensure that they’re kept as far away from unsuspecting souls as humanly possible.

4-Out-Of-5 Barz