Review: Honey Buddies – Chattanooga Film Festival 2016


Chattanooga Film Festival Review

Read all of our coverage of CFF here

Director Alex Simmons’ first foray into film is an endearingly quirky Bromance. It’s about a guy named David (played by Grimm’s David Giuntoli) who has been jilted mere days before his wedding to Frankie (Jeanne Syquia). In an attempt to bring David out of his depression, his German friend Flula (played by Flula Borg) coaxes David to go ahead and go on the hiking trip he had arrange for his honeymoon…and since it was for two, well, Flula manages to convince David of the wisdom of taking him along. The fact that David is an actor auditioning for a part in a new movie about Lewis and Clark allows for some entertaining voice-over parallels from the diaries of those gentleman pioneers that both echoes and contrasts the experiences of our protagonists, always resulting in heart warming humor.

There’s so much that could have gone wrong with this film. Bromance as a new spin on the Romance genre is different from the traditional buddy picture. It allows men the space to explore their feelings (something we all hate to do if the traditional romances are to be believed). American men in our cultural moment are much more open about their feelings, but still seem to squirm when they can be misinterpreted as applying to sexual feelings, so it’s a high wire balancing act to be sure— how far can the characters go before it becomes a cliché about one of them being secretly gay for the other? Honey Buddies manages not only to flirt with those implications, it flirts and then moves on without comment, as it should. This is, to be sure, a film about how much one man loves another…but it’s the love of friendship and sometimes the sacrifices one friend is willing to make for the other. It’s both simple and beautiful.

There are the easy laughs generated from Flula’s issues with the English language. For example he confuses Lewis and Clark the pioneers with Lois and Clark (yeah, Clark Kent) and his speculations as to why Superman would carry a knapsack across the wilderness when could have simply flown is just why the audience comes to love Flula so much. As David points out, Flula is unfiltered in his exuberance which teeters on endearing and annoying, especially for his friend David.

What is undeniable is the chemistry of these two men. This may stem from the fact that along with director Alex Simmons, both Giuntoli and Borg wrote the screenplay. It’s easy to imagine many improve session that led to the birth of these characters. Giuntoli is excellent at playing the wounded groom attempting to forget his pain while tromping through the mountain forests with his goofy German friend whose personality is the size of a Macy’s Day float. Borg manages to be completely innocent and free, but also manages the quieter moments imbuing Flula with his own depth of character.

This is a character piece at its best; however, it’s first and foremost a comedy. There are so many unexpected moments of pure zany. For example there’s a wondering medieval  recorder band in the forest, adventures with mushrooms, an encounter with a guy who terrifies them about wolves attacking them, and an escalating prank battle between the two guys that doesn’t easily rely completely on language issues.

I usually make a final judgment about a movie based on its ending and Honey Buddies does not disappoint. As a film festival offering, it was for me the most endearing movie of the weekend. I didn’t see a single face without a smile as we left.

Read all of our coverage of CFF here

There are 58 comments

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  1. Scott

    Go Bromance! This sounds like a great movie. i think humor is the best place to explore the whole bromance thing. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, what’s the point, right?

  2. Olivia Wilkey

    The movie sounds like a great one to put on one day to put you in a good mood. For the most part, I believe that’s what any comedy is for, and a ‘bromance’ is a good way to go about it. I love comedies with female best friends (i.e. The Sweetest Thing, Bride Wars), so I don’t see why males couldn’t pull it off as well.

  3. LeNiya

    This sounds like a great movie! I do agree that men should be able to share their feelings without feeling that are acting feminine.

  4. Hannah P Barnett

    I think this is good, society needs to get over themselves and quit putting these stereotypes and labels on men and women and quit making everyone feel like they need to be a certain way. I don’t see anything wrong with two men being very close but nothing necessarily romantic going on.

  5. Deandre

    I believe that this movie would be a good watch. It can be a film that teaches people the difference between a “bromance” and a “romance”. There’s nothing wrong with two men being as close as these two are. That’s an issue with today’s society is that people often mistake a really close friendship to a sexual relationship.

  6. Darcy

    I think it is extremely important that there is a movie like this about a bromance. Guys don’t get enough representation in the media that being a human being with emotions and having a close relationship with a guy friend the way girls have close relationships with their girl friends is okay. And the fact that this is a comedy makes it sound so much more fun and exciting. a Bromantic comedy.

  7. Qmarae Bussey

    I feel like this film will expose the reality that men in this generation hold back their true feelings instead of expressing them in a way that others can connect. Men feel as though expressing feelings makes one look sensitive or weak, so this movie may do a great job of opening the door to men of or generation to opening up more especially to other males.

  8. Sandra Rivera

    Well now I definitely want so see it because David Giuntoli is in it, and I LOVE him in Grimm! I think it’s excellent that this type of movie is out there in the world because bromance has become really big in our generation. It tells guys that its okay to feel.

  9. Ronada Stewart

    I think that this a very different but interesting film due to the fact of two men being able to connect to each other. I don’t think that there is a problem with two men to be emotionally connected to one another.

  10. Janah Zabala

    It seems like an interesting film especially that is focuses on bromance. Most films are either friendships between girls or boy-girl relationships. It’s good to see guys showing their feelings because we dont see that much in our society.

  11. Allison Lee

    This movie sounds interesting and funny. It is nice to see that film makers are wanting to show off men’s emotional sides, considering how men are pressured in our American society to be tough and closed off to others. Seeing that they want to show this through close friends makes me even more excited because guys need to have someone to turn to, just like us girls do.

  12. yannick brassard

    It sounds like a good mixture that can lead to a lot of interesting situations in the movie. I plan on seeing it soon.

  13. Elecia Cook

    I agree that men rarely show emotions, it is more of a feminine characteristic. Most people in society confuse “Bromance” with homosexuality.

  14. Yatta Fahnbulleh

    This movie seems to me as if embraces bromance. Men seem to not get as close and open up to their friends because it comes off as being gay but this movies shows that it is okay to get in depth with a friend.

  15. Jordan Berard 1101

    The film pushes the boundaries of what a modern film can do and eludes the audience’s expectations of a different kind of relationship between the two friends

    • Yatta Fahnbulleh

      This movie seems to me as if embraces bromance. Men seem to not get as close and open up to their friends because it comes off as being gay but this movies shows that it is okay to get in depth with a friend.

  16. Khadeisha McNeil ENGL 1102

    This seems like a movie everyone should be open to see, especially men. To observe and endure a journey of two guy friends will have us all interested in what its like for men to be friends. With the humor and depth of these guys, it seems like a good movie.

  17. Joseph Green

    There is nothing wrong with a little bromance, but I’m still a guy. It is definitely healthy to have a bro who you can talk to about things you can’t necessarily say to other people.

  18. Bonnie Gunn

    This movie sounds like a sweet,fun movie to watch. I do agree with a lot of peoples’ comments discussing how men do not usually share their emotions like women do. I love the word bromance. I witness a lot of bromances in real life between some of my guy friends. It is similar to two girls being best friends and sharing everything together. It is not necessarily a “gay” thing in my opinion.

  19. Courtney Hahn

    Sounds like a good film! We need more movies about solely bromances without always trying to add a romantic side into the mix.

  20. Denis Salazar ENG 1101

    This movie can be very interesting in this patriarchal society, where men need to keep their feeling by themselves to look like men. Now at this time where women and men are equally in almost all aspects, they may externalize all feelings without feeling less like a man or look like a woman.

  21. Denis Salazar ENG 1101

    This movie can be very interesting in this matriarchal society, where men need to keep their feeling by themselves to look like men. Now at this time where women and men are equally in almost all aspects, they may externalize all feelings without feeling less like a man or look like a woman.

  22. J.Williams

    Expressing feelings is typically viewed as a feminine quality. This places unnecessary pressure on the concept of “bromance” because society typically will not view this type of male friendship as masculine enough for their liking.

  23. Autumn O.

    Men can be very confusing. Society have shown that men who express their feelings are considered to be feminine. This article shows that film makers are comfortable with men showing their feelings and emotions. The reason men don’t show feelings is because their pride is worth more. This film sounds very interesting.

  24. Autumn O.

    Men can be very confusing. Society have shown that men who express their feelings are considered to be feminine. This article shows that film makers are comfortable with men showing their feelings and emotions. The reason men don’t show feelings is because their pride is worth more.

  25. Kimberly Varian

    This movie sounds refreshing, to say the least. This film seems to portray the fact that men have more than just one side of them. It is relieving to see that is is possible for a man to talk about his feelings and thoughts.

  26. Quodacious Slaton

    This is a film i would be in love with. the fact that there are two men expressing their feelings towards each other is rare and interesting .

  27. Mimi Pham

    Some men do express their feelings, but I feel like they only show it if they really need to or it must be with someone who the feel comfortable enough to tell.

  28. Arielle Hunter

    This movie sounds very interesting. In our society, when men express their feelings it can be seen as weak or feminine. The movie seems like it could be a great lesson to show that men can also be emotional.

  29. Quiavonna Williams

    This movie sounds amazing and I would love to see it!! I feel as though men should be able to open up about their feelings to their friends just as women do ,and it not be weird. We want our guys to show more emotion and express themselves more so what is so wrong with that. Why is it that if a man wants to tell his guy friend how he is feeling he is automatically gay?

  30. Donicia

    I believe that men should be able to express their feelings just as woman. In our society we are often mistaken by the claim that me are not supposed to have feelings. This is far from true because men are human just like anyone else. I think that this film will allow people to see that it is okay for men to express themselves.

  31. Amanda Ramirez

    This movie appears to be about men in our society, in which they express a great friendship through trials and tribulations. The movie seems rather interesting and influential, and also can be a great lesson to men about becoming emotionally in touch with friends and loved ones.

  32. Shelby Johnson from ENG 1102

    This movie sounds like something I would be interested in seeing. From reading the review it seems like the movie is about a man’s role in society and how he should act upon his role.

  33. Jake Farrell

    I can say men aren’t always comfortable showing these types of feelings due to the fact of how the public may judge them. Seems like an interesting film, I might have to check it out.

  34. Ciara Underwood

    I think it has been hard to express the relationship between two male friends due to the fact that it wasn’t a social normality for two men to feel a certain way about one another without being labeled as a homosexual. Modern day film makers have created the genre “bromance” to try to get the audience to understand that men share emotions just as much as women would in a romance.

  35. Lindsey Dandrea ENG 1102

    This movie sounds like a play on gender roles in society. Can men love one another without being in love with one another? Obviously, brothers, fathers, sons, cousins, etc. are obviously loving relationships between two men. However, guy friends have a hard time showing affection for one another without being labeled or judged. Girls do things like sit on each others laps when there aren’t enough seats, or do each other’s hair to pass time, hug and laugh, get dressed in front of each other, have sleep overs, share lip gloss. If men were doing any of these activities, it is likely that most would assume they are in a relationship, that is not friends. Sounds like this movie brings light to the fact that our judgments are often wrong!

  36. Clay Marlar

    I think that men have always been victimized of being called gay in a book or a movie if they are great friends with a strong connection and show that. I believe Alex Simmons’ is does a great job of showing that two men absolutely can have a “bromance” and show their appreciation for one another without people trying to perceive their relationship as something else.

  37. Kori Tackett

    I think that sometimes men have a hard time showing how much they care about their male best friend. This movie sounds like it depicted perfectly a best friend relationship between two men and how they were not afraid to show their feelings.

  38. Timothy Oglesby

    I feel like bromances are a true bond of males of society. It gives you the excuse to express your true feelings to another male like you would do in a regular romance and not have to hide behind the “macho man” persona that a lot males feel they need to show off

  39. Kysis Pinto

    Women have always showed their love for one another and never worried about how they looked or if they feared the would appear gay. In the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, the two main characters are best friends and clearly share a bond so strong that it must be love, but we never assume that their IN love with one another. I think it’s great that we are beginning to accept that all people-men included-can love a person dearly without being IN love with a them.

  40. Jaymie Boyd

    I think that men struggle expressing their emotions so it seems like they are being closed off but they really are not. This review was very informative and makes me interested in seeing the film.

  41. Tianna Henry

    Men show emotions but it depends on who the person is that they are opening up to and how close of a bond they have.

  42. James Crowell

    Men are usually not the ones to show emotion due to social norms, but I feel like that is changing with more and more men having a “bromance”.

  43. Valerie

    Society has managed to confuse bromance with homosexuality due to the fact, that both hold femnine qualities. There seems to be no clear boundary as to where these feelings turn into actual physical/sexual attraction. Honey Buddies seems to be a great film to show society that men can be open with their feelings to other men without being labeled as a homosexual. Once again we have been exposed to these stigmas that men are suppose to be one hundred percent masculine and women one hundred percent feminine. Yet no person on this earth is one hundred percent masculine or feminine. Women usually turn to other women to talk about their feelings why has society labeled it wrong for men to turn to other men about their feelings?

  44. TaaTiie Scavella

    I do agree with the fact that guys are less eager to show their feelings. Many people confuse the signs of Bromance and homosexuality a lot and I would definitely take time out to study the characteristics of these characters. Keeping a theme of bromance instead of the theme of sexuality can be hard but using humor can stress the fact that it is merely a strong friendship.

  45. Orlando Little

    Bromance? I wouldn’t call it bromance but guys do share their feelings, maybe not openly how females do but still they share them.

  46. alena moore

    I think that it is great that film makers are more comfortable with showing men in our society that it is OK for men to show something other than men being masculine side and open up to others. It opens a big door for sensitive men who have been told its not ok to cry and being manly is the only way you should be .

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