Honor Society (2022) – Review, Topics Discussed, and Ending Explained: The Apparent Finality of Rejects: Like its protagonist, ‘Honor Society’, released on Paramount +, is neat and intelligent. Director Oren Zegman and writer David A. Goodman (“Family Guy”) have collaborated to produce a zany, confident story that works as both a high school drama and a dark comedy, with the fast-paced narrative of a hit movie. robberies Directed by an unerring performance from Angourie Rice as Honor, this ever-breaking fourth-wall flick barely skips a beat in its heart-pounding exploration of the cutthroat competition that comes hand-in-hand with education these days.
Honor Society (2022) Summary and Synopsis:
Honor Rose (Rice) has only one goal in her senior year of school. To get into Harvard. The good way or the bad way. That is her coveted ticket to escape from the town she is in, which she considers unworthy. Her determined efforts to avoid mediocrity have led her to master karate, do well in all of her school subjects, participate in donation drives, and even sweat on the basketball court. It’s not that she’s particularly passionate about any of them, but they are the means to pursue her passion. Which is, again, not to be branded mediocre upon entering Harvard.
For that, Honor needs to fraternize with thirty-something guidance counselor, a Mr. Calvin (Christopher ‘McLovin’ Mintz-Plasse of ‘Superbad’ fame). For Honor, there is nothing dishonorable about her pursuit of Harvard. Here Calvin has an ace up his sleeve in the form of his Harvard alumnus friend. It’s for that simple reason, for that single letter of recommendation from Calvin, that Honor not only sugarcoats the sleazy music enthusiast, but also puts up with his inappropriate comments and offers.
However, even after all of that, Honor finds that she is still not Calvin’s absolute favorite for the desired recommendation. There are three more candidates who are in the running. Kennedy (Amy Keum), asocial but book-bright, who dresses every day as a historical figure but literally friendless, the high school heartthrob and excellent at sports and academics Travis (Armani Jackson); and the shy and reticent ‘Dr. Who’s a fan of Michael (Gaten Matarazzo from ‘Stranger Things’).
Thus, Honor does what brilliant but scheming people usually do. Sabotage by manipulation. Honor befriends Kennedy and finds her interested in becoming a playwright. With some clever maneuvering, she manages to make the play written by Kennedy the play that she will adapt for the next production of the school’s theater group. She quickly discovers that, despite all the machismo and cute girlfriend, Travis is secretly gay and quite interested in Gary (Ben Jackson Walker), the flamboyantly gay and pedantic director of the same theater group. So, Honor plans for Travis to be the lead in Kennedy’s play.
Honor’s plan to engage her competitors in things they’d love to slack off on their midterms began to show results except for one. Michael seems to be the hardest nut to crack. Honor not only befriends him, but also slightly seduces him and engages him in the dynamic that they won’t. However, not only does Michael not show any signs of receding in his academic prowess, but Honor herself seems to be drawn to him despite his initial reluctance.
Honor Society (2022) Review and Topics Discussed: Mental Health Involving Rejection:
Debbie Lum’s Sundance-selected documentary from last year, ‘Try Harder!’ It would be a great companion piece to this movie. The more serious-toned documentary deftly focuses on college admissions and the dream-shattering angst that comes with it. It explores the apparent purpose of rejection and the toll it takes on the mental health of any young student. Like ‘Try Harder,’ Goodman’s story here also tries to give a glimmer of hope to the other side of the rejections, albeit in a much more comedic way. The abject fear of missing out on excellence with the horrible possibility of being “average” is negated by Honor’s gleeful acceptance that absolves the supposed “mediocrity” of his life.
Angourie Rice is electrifying in her role with just the right amount of touch of sympathy. We’re not exactly supposed to support her, but there’s enough of a twinkle in her eye at her fourth secure presence that she breaks the wall that one can’t help but want her Honor to fail her schemes as well. The rest of the cast doesn’t falter either. Zegman and editor Anita Brandt Burgoyne also display a confident confidence in the construction of their scene, without which the breaking of the fourth wall would not have been a perfect facet of the film.
Honor Society (2022) Ending Explained: Why Does Honor Change Her Mind?
After watching Michael walk into a house in the shadier part of town, Honor questions him about it. Michael tells her that he lives in a foster home. That is the moment when Honor begins to question her predetermined schemes. To her own annoyance, she begins to worry about Michael. And like Travis and Kennedy, she too Honor begins to wonder about the hitherto unfathomable possibility of a life without excellent grades. Honor’s change of heart is confirmed when she doesn’t drug Michael, despite intending to, before the day of the midterm.
Did Michael fake it all the way?
As a result, Michael comes out ahead in the competition for Calvin’s letter of recommendation, which Honor no longer seems to care about. She is much happier in a relationship with Michael. However, the story takes its final turn. After the midterm, Michael begins to avoid her. When Honor goes to the foster home, she gradually starts down the path of discovering the truth. Michael lied to her about living in foster care. Instead, she lives with her parents in a much larger house.
Michael, in his own words, admits that he is not a good person. Breaking the conventional trope of the genre of geeky, bullied introverts who are always good. He just wanted to go to Harvard and so he earned Honor’s care and pity by making up the story of living in foster care. The house he visited is not a foster home, it belongs to his maid. Meanwhile, Honor was trying to sabotage others, not realizing that she, too, was being sabotaged by Michael.
Who gets the Harvard Spot?
Heartbroken, Honor quickly finds solace in the ways of her new friends. Kennedy, Travis, Gary and other drama students quickly show Honor what she’s accomplished. She made Kennedy find her passion and Travis accept her own truth. Watching them, Honor also realizes that true passion and friendships cannot be sabotaged.
As a result, she finds her former jealousy. She reveals that she had previously recorded one of Calvin’s more apparent sexual propositions. She had planned to use that by blackmailing Calvin into giving her the letter of recommendation. She charges that. However, she asks, not for herself, but for Kennedy. It is apparent that Calvin would have no choice but to listen to Honor, so Kennedy gets the Harvard spot. And unless we get a sequel where Kennedy is revealed to be a mastermind with the grand plan of pretending to be antisocial, she gets it on merit.