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Honeyglue 

Wednesday, Jun 8 2016
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Thematic similarities in movies released around the same time is generally a coincidence — particularly among independent or foreign films —but as movies about women dying of cancer go, James Bird's Honeyglue is a warm palliative to the emotional dishonesty of last week's Ma Ma. Dancing at a nightclub while her straight-laced parents Janet (Jessica Tuck) and Dennis (Christopher Heyerdahl) think she's gone to the movies, cancer patient Morgan (Adriana Mather) meets pansexual genderqueer artist Jordan (Zach Villa), who prefers to be referred to as a "girl-boy" instead of a "boy-girl." (Who wouldn't, really?) Morgan is attracted to Jordan, and though she pushes him away at first due to her illness, Jordan ingratiates himself into the dragonfly-lifespan of time that Morgan has left. The subtext of mainstream culture learning to accept forms of queerness that are less about sexuality than gender expression occasionally becomes the text — Morgan's upper-middle class family has difficulty wrapping their brains around Jordan wearing skirts and makeup while also liking girls, and Jordan's estranged train wreck of a mother (Amanda Plummer!) tells him, "You can't be a pansy and have a wife" — but both Jordan and Morgan emerge as fully formed characters who could have just been symbols.Not every directorial choice lands, but the tearjerking Honeyglue's heart is in the right place.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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