Honeymood, which premiered last year, is a hysterical Israeli comedy that is currently playing the Jewish and Israeli film festival circuit.
We all know what happens in a romantic comedy: Couple meets, breaks up, and gets back together by the end of the film. Honeymood starts right after the happy ending. Surprisingly, this film plays along some of those similar beats! When you see so many of these films, you have somewhat of an idea about how things could go wrong. i mean, Eleanor (Avigail Hararui) and Noam (Ran Danker) are off to a nice start. She’s a high school drama teacher and he’s a graphic designer. They have a beautiful suite at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, right. His ex gave him an envelope but it was only addressed to him.
While romantic relationships are not my strong suit (thank you being trans), even I know that they are built on communication and trust. If you can’t communicate the truth with your significant other, your relationship will not last. And so, Eleanor and Noam are in quite the pickle. We find out that not only is a check in the envelope but so is a compass ring. Eleanor wants to return the ring to Noam’s ex and this is how they end up going throughout Jerusalem and the outskirts. This probably isn’t the best way to spend one’s wedding night. I mean, getting your exes involved is a bad idea from the start!
Encountering their exes only adds to the backstory. It’s a really interesting choice in having these encounters become the basis for character development. Another encounter with someone else later on serves as a callback to the taxi ride. They can’t find Renana (Yael Folman) at her sister’s, Eleanor’s ex-boyfriend’s place, and so they head to the editing room at the film school. She’s not there either and clearly, Noam does not want to be there. He’d rather be anywhere else. I mean, spending your wedding night watching ex-boyfriend Michael’s (Elisha Banai) thesis film and giving feedback?!? Like any rom-com, Eleanor and Noam are almost certainly headed for splitsville.
At one point during the night, Eleanor passes by the Prime Minister’s residence. She’s lost, clearly, and the guards start questioning her. And thus we reach one of the scenes that we never see coming! Before you know it, there’s a dance number at a fountain. It’s a show-stopper of a number but I definitely didn’t expect this at all!
The two of them clearly have their own ideas of what it means to be married. Noam is the man of her dreams but she doesn’t even seem to give them the benefit of the doubt. He wants things that just might not bring satisfaction to Eleanor. There’s so much tension between them and I’m not necessarily talking about the sexual kind. I mean, just look at where they like to spend their time: Noam, indoors; Eleanor, outdoors. My biggest qualm though is that Talya Lavie’s script has Eleanor in her wedding dress and shoes all night long! Would it have really hurt to give her a wardrobe change after making their way to the hotel suite?
Honeymood has a way of capturing what love looks like following the happy ending in romantic comedies.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Talya Lavie
CAST: Avigail Harari, Ran Danker, Meir Suissa, Orly Silbersatz, Yael Folman, Elisha Banai, Anna Dubrovitsky