Wild Honey Pie offers actress Jemima Kirke an opportunity to move forward from her Girls days.
Gillian (Jemima Kirke) and Oliver (Richard Elis) are at a good place in life. The two of them are married and even though they don’t have any children, they’re both relatively happy. Gillian’s a writer, much to the dismay of everyone around her. This is something that other writers, myself included, can relate to in that we’re happy with having a writing career though our families aren’t supportive.
Oliver had some hesitation at first but he soon comes around to supporting Gillian in putting together a Shakespeare by the Sea festival. Gillian just isn’t able to get over the blonde actress, Rachel (Sarah Solemani), in the show. Rachel has a past with Oliver. His past relationship with Rachel isn’t doing him any favors with his wife, not when his mom keeps calling the house. Yet it’s Rachel who comes to everyone’s aid when their theater venue is out of commission before kissing Oliver. Regardless of whether the kiss was an accident or intentional, it changes Oliver’s relationship with his wife for better or worse.
While that’s going on, Gillian is meeting with Gerry (Alice Lowe) to discuss a play that Gillian wrote. It’s one that’s quickly summarized by Gerry as capturing “the complete pointlessness of men.” Some drunk kissing between the two of them later, secrets start to come out between Gillian and Oliver before his old friend, Matt (Brett Goldstein), enters the picture. If things couldn’t get any crazier, they just did as Matt confesses his love for Gillian. Does Oliver still love his wife? This is the question that needs answering.
Jamie Adams’ script has elements of a screwball comedy at play. It’s also one that explores the issue of monogamy in marriage. The script raises the stakes at every corner along the way. One that that the film does take advantage is, more or less, a minimal cast. Fresh off of HBO comedy Girls, Kirke delivers performance that shows she is off to a sold post-sitcom career.
Another area in which the film benefits is cinematographer Bet Rourich. She does a fine job in framing Kirke and the rest of the cast on screen. Film editor Adelina Bichis is able to put it together in a way that flows coherently.
Wild Honey Pie shows that while no relationship is perfect, it’s worth it to fight.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Jamie Adams
CAST: Jemima Kirke, Richard Elis, Sarah Solemani, Alice Lowe, Brett Goldstein, with Joanna Scanlon and William Thomas
An official selection of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, Wild Honey Pie premieres as part of the Visions program