When the beautiful, young, middle-class Morgan (Adriana Mather) meets Jordan (Zach Villa) at a club, she really isn’t sure about him. He is a gender-bending, art school dropout who won’t accept a label. He expresses his freedom through a kind of Bohemian lifestyle, but even that isn’t quite what it seems. They hit it off, but Morgan fails to tell him (at least for a while) that she has a brain tumor and only a few months to live. Honeyglue is their love story with a very YA vibe about it. (Although it is rated R for language, some sexuality, and drug content.)
As their relationship develops and Morgan deals with facing her mortality, they set out to live these last months of her life with abandon. Morgan records their life together with a video camera. For Morgan, this is a time to do things she has never dreamed of before (like holding up a store). For Jordan, this is a time to be connected to someone in a new and loving way. The film does not want to focus on dying, but on living.
The YA feel of the film comes from the themes that seem to crop up in adolescent stories, such as mortality (it is a time when young people first truly experience the reality of death), freedom and rules, and family and self. All of those themes play out in Morgan and Jordan’s time together, but not always as we think they will.
For example, Jordan, for all his anarchistic veneer really longs for something a bit more conventional. Throughout the story, he is working on a children’s story about a dragonfly (representing Morgan) and a princess bee (representing himself) and how they long to overcome the differences of their lives to be together.
Of course, the key theme is how to live in the face of mortality. With such a short time ahead of her, Morgan sets out to maximize the happiness she can find. Even though she is willing to go off to Houston for treatment that will not really help (for the sake of her family more than her own sake), in time she decides to return to Jordan to live her last days in their mutual love and search for the joy of life. The film’s moral can be summed up in the song they use as the climax draws near, the Grass Roots’ “Live for Today.” And truth be told, the message of that song is not far off from the message that we may find in Ecclesiastes.
Photos courtesy Zotbot Pictures