Most of us have a predetermined idea of what a wedding night entails, and though people say every couple argues, we hope a fight does not arise on our matrimonial day. Unfortunately, this is where Israeli newlyweds Noam (Ran Danker) and Elinor (Avigail Harari) find themselves. After accidentally locking themselves out of their luxurious hotel suite attempting to get the tradition of carrying the bride right, Elinor finds a personalised envelope for Noam in his pocket whilst searching for the room card. Noam is quick to take it back, which makes Elinor suspicious. What’s in the envelope becomes a growing bone of contention between the pair because Noam is unwilling to open it in his wife’s presence, as it is from his ex. When they do decide to open it, it only leads to more questions and problems, so they leave to search for Noam’s ex on the streets of Jerusalem.

Honeymood2Throughout Honeymood, the audience sees Noam and Elinor get into some peculiar encounters with strangers, ex-partners and even family members with some amusing occurrences. These include meeting a religious taxi driver who believes Noam’s position as the bridegroom can bring divine intervention to help his son, and Elinor’s ex-boyfriend who is a second-rate filmmaker searching for approval on his latest project.

Danker and Harari work well together, and their relationship is believable. It’s not only the trivial disagreements that they have with each other that are credible, but also the tender moments they share that are easily identifiable to an audience. Their chemistry makes the pair likeable, but their performances are individually endearing as well.

The only criticism I would have of Honeymood is that at times it appears a little simple and that some of the dramatic techniques that director Talya Lavie uses are conventional. At the same time though, simplicity is part of the film’s magnetism.

Honeymood’s climax may be foreseeable for the audience, but this film is about the journey it takes to get there. Its message is one that we’ve heard before, but the unique scenarios that lead Noam and Elinor there are intriguing and entertaining, and they heighten the impact that the film makes.

In the case of Honeymood, it’s gratifying to see a film that is easy to watch and reaffirms our belief in love. The film’s distinctive additions to a recognisable story, along with the credible performances from the central characters, are ultimately what make Honeymood appealing.

Ian began working in film as one of the founding members of the Rochester Film Society, where he led the programming for films and curated screenings. Since moving into film criticism and writing for Cineccentric, he has provided coverage for various film festivals including London, Glasgow and the BFI Flare Film Festival. He is also the Communications Manager for the North East International Film Festival, where he helps acquire films. Ian particularly admires works from contemporary directors like Céline Sciamma, David Fincher, Steve McQueen and Nicolas Winding Refn.

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