“American Honey” is Anything but Sweet
By Skip Sheffield
If you think America’s youth is up to no good, “American Honey” will confirm your worst suspicions.
Written and directed by Briton Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” is an almost 3-hour long rambling trip across the USA with a group of young, disaffected youth allegedly trying to sell magazine subscriptions.
I say allegedly because this gang spends more time drinking, getting high and having sex than any legitimate salespeople. As a child I tried to sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door, and I can tell you it is next to impossible.
It is even worse now that the printed word has diminished in value. So I don’t condemn these kids for their misdeeds, but neither do I understand their cultish behavior.
A teenage girl who calls herself Star (Sasha Lane) one day packs up her meager belongings and joins a tribe of kids, who travel from town to town in the Midwest. Star is lured by Jake (Shia LaBeouf), who is the alpha male of the tribe, but the real boss is Krystal (Riley Keough), who keeps a percentage of all the profits.
There is no particular plot to “American Honey.” The gang just wanders from town to town. Sometimes they engage in sex with lonely homeowners. Sometimes they rip them off. Where is this going?, I wondered. The answer is nowhere.
“American Honey” is a movie that makes me glad I am not a teenager anymore. If you want to get mildly bummed-out, see this movie. Otherwise avoid it.