Caroline (Robyn Butler) already has a hectic life. With two daughters, a husband who works all the time, a job as a property lawyer and a sister who’s insistent of having her wedding in Caroline’s backyard, she’s got enough on her plate. But when her other sister, Beth (Portia de Rossi) flies in from LA with her sixteen-year-old pop star daughter, Honey (Lucy Fry), in tow, Caroline’s busy world is flipped on its head. What follows is a hefty series of unfortunate events, whereby Honey comes to stay with Caroline’s family in her suburban home. Unaccustomed to a life without maids and personal assistants, and with no understanding of what it means to live in the real world, Honey wreaks havoc on the family’s life.
This quirky Australian family comedy from the creators of the television series Upper Middle Bogan, stars a slew of other Aussie actors including the likes of Hamish Blake, Erik Thomson, Angus Sampson, Ben Lawson and Robbie Magasiva. And with all that comedy talent jam-packed into one film, you’d think they’d be on to a winner.
Unfortunately, Now Add Honey is directionless and chaotic from the start. A little to adult for child audiences, and a little too childish for adult audiences, this film struggled to pick a lane and stay in it, instead swerving between genres like a car out of control. There were some small, glistening moments of comedy and poignancy in there that delved deeper into the insecurities that come with growing old, but these were too few and far between, and ended up being undermined by the absurdity and juvenility of the writing and acting.
It’s a little disappointing actually, to see that there was some real potential for this film to be great. Robyn Butler has wonderful comedic timing and pulled off the role of the relatable middle-aged mum with some real light and shade. Young actress Philippa Coulthard, who played Caroline’s daughter Clare, was another diamond in the rough whose ability proved that she could be destined for great things in Aussie cinema. But these lovely little elements were ultimately overshadowed by the over-the-top style of humour and the fake American accents. So many fake American accents…
Ultimately, I think it will be tweens who end up getting the most out of Now Add Honey, and amongst the madness there is some really great messages about family and even about the current state of the pop industry. But the execution of these ideas was just a little bit lacking.