Honey and Clover Movie Review

Title:  Honey and Clover

Starring:  Sho Sakurai, Yu Aoi, Yusuke Iseya, Ryo Kase, Megumi Seki

Directed by: Masahiro Takata

Viz Pictures

ISBN:  1934244082

May Contain Spoilers

After a trying day of appliance shopping and the goat rodeo that is Lowe’s idea of price adjustments, I was ready for a relaxing evening at home.  Popping Honey and Clover into the DVD player, I settled down for what I hoped would be a diversion from gas installation kits and not so free delivery promotions.  I’m sad to say that the movie didn’t live up to my expectations, and left me disappointed.

Having only read the first volume of the manga so far, I was hoping that the quirky humor from that would be translated to film.  It wasn’t.  One of the aspects of watching a manga based movies that I enjoy the most is seeing favorite scenes acted out on screen.  I didn’t recognize anything here, and it left me very detached from the movie.  Morita didn’t show up after weeks of mysterious absences with a pocketful of money and heaps of discounted food, and comradery between the apartment tenants wasn’t there.  The friendships between the main characters also seemed distant, and at times it seemed that these guys hardly knew each other.  Not to mention that Morita’s frantic race to attend that required lecture, his reason for not graduating for so many years, wasn’t included.  Boo hoo.

Instead, Honey and Clover was a fairly benign movie about a group of art students who bob along like corks in a pond.  They didn’t interact in a convincing way, and they remained removed from each other and their own feelings.  Mayama was creepy with his Wall-O-Rika, Hagu was cute but had the emotional depth of a paint brush, and Morita didn’t seem to do much other than brush his bangs out of his eyes.  Sigh.

Sho Sakurai made a good Takemoto, and was my favorite character.  Yu Aoi’s smile could brighten a cave, but her Hagu didn’t win me over. But I didn’t really dislike any of the casting; instead, I thought the screenplay was flat and not very interesting.  Halfway through, I started glancing at the clock, and that is never a good sign.  The movie dragged on as love was spurned or remained a closely guarded secret, as hearts were broken and friendships tested.  There was a lot of emotional turmoil, but the pacing was too uneven for me to care.

Grade:  C-

Rated for NR

Review copy provided by VIZ

2 thoughts on “Honey and Clover Movie Review

  • June 14, 2008 at 10:52 pm
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    I didn’t like this movie either. And while I do find the live action drama TV series quite funny, for a change, it also messes a lot with the plot and doesn’t have the nearly the resonance and emotional truth that the anime had. The characters were either flat, as you said, or changed beyond almost any recognition in terms of their character traits. (In terms of looks, however, I actually like this Hagu the best.)

  • November 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm
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    I thought this movie was very cute!! The characters made me laugh and Morita was très cute;D the only thing i didnt like was how the beginning was so slow but otherwise, <3 it:P

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