LFF 2020: Honeymood – Review

Release Date – N/A, Cert – N/A, Run-time – 1 hour 30 minutes, Director – Talya Lavie

A young couple’s (Avigail Harari, Ran Danker) wedding night quickly turns into a chaotic traipse through the streets of Jerusalem

One of the last thing’s Eleanor (Avigail Harari) and Noam (Ran Danker), or any newlywed couple for that matter, on their wedding night was to be wandering the streets of Jerusalem at two in the morning. While their intentions are clearly laid out early on – they enter their grand hotel suite three times (they have to get it right, of course) with the intention of making their way to the bedroom, you can fill in the blanks from there, even if they can’t. Instead, after discovering one of their wedding gifts is a ring from Noam’s ex – her presence at the wedding having already caused some tensions – Eleanor begins a journey through the city in the hope of finding Renana (Yael Folman) and questioning her on her gift, dragging a reluctant Noam along with her.

To an extent this is your standard set-up for a tale of diversions and sidetracks of the ‘all in one night’ kind and the film does play off in that way, but that doesn’t stop it from having some worthwhile laughs along the way. The simple, light-hearted humour of the first 20 minutes or so produces a number of laugh out loud moments that eases you into the piece. It has an almost traditional rom-com style feel to it, yet somehow a modern enough feel and tone that helps it along and stops it from feeling repetitive and as if we’ve seen it before too many times. While familiarity does come into play plot-wise as the narrative develops the laughs are still there, even if less frequently and not as strong. A feeling which becomes ever more present during the somewhat uneven third act; where things begin to slightly lose themselves during a tonal shift in both the film and character personality.

As has come to be expected from this style of film there are elements that do seem to be added just after the hour mark seemingly in hope of pushing the film to the 90 minute mark. Just about linked to the main events to create even more turmoil for the couple, as their arguments increase and they seemingly recognise their differences – was there every really anything in their relationship? Did they rush into their wedding? Was this just a way for Noam to get back at Renana, while also trying to get his parents, who seem to have got on a bit too well with his ex, to move on from her too? And yet there’s nothing exactly frustrating about the film, it’s an enjoyable watch and does have a number of amusing moments throughout its traipse through the streets of the Holy City.

Perhaps it’s the general nature of the characters and the performances behind them that help to bring you in. You might not exactly emotionally connect with them, but for the majority of the short run-time you’re happy enough to follow them and see what happens as their desperation for opposing outcomes increases. Talya Lavie’s direction and screenplay manage to capture an inviting tone that welcomes you in with a slightly traditional feeling that keeps you in place throughout the various diversions that the film travels along. Things just about click together for a simple and enjoyable comedy that has its moments among the winding journey that it takes, oddly place dance number aside, it might not be anything ground-breaking, but for the time it’s on it’s a pleasantly amusing wander through the opposite of most movie wedding nights.

It might seem fairly conventional but there are still some laughs to be found within Honeymood. With a welcoming feel thanks to the mostly light humour dotted throughout it does what it does rather well in a simple yet pleasing enough fashion.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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