I walked into the theater knowing that there were very mixed reviews of Jem and the Holograms movie. As I usually do, I kept an open mind, grabbed a bag of popcorn and took my seat.
This movie was a far departure from the 80’s cartoon series that I grew up watching (I totally just dated myself). Here are some of the differences I found:
- I didn’t get to hear the theme song, “Truly Outrageous”.
- Synergy wasn’t the same synthesizer character as in the series either – she’s now a robot that Jerrica’s dad built.
- The Misfits were a no-show :).
- Eric Raymond is now EricA (played by Juliette Lewis).
Social media and its influence on our children’s lives today is apparent throughout. YouTube videos of kids showing off their musical talents, more than likely in hopes of being recognized, are scattered in between scenes – including the water-skiing squirrel (you’ll see what I mean if you watch it).
The main characters – Jerrica, Kimber, Shana and Aja – are four teenagers (you really don’t know how old they are) who live with their Aunt Bailey, played by Molly Ringwald. She looks good – but I do have to admit seeing her playing an aunt and not Sam Baker in Sixteen Candles made me feel a bit old.
They all possess musical talent and all but Jerrica are comfortable in front of the video camera. One night Jerrica decides to video herself singing a song, which then gets posted to YouTube (unbeknownst to her) and goes viral. Their lives change from this point forward.
Reviewers were arguing that this is so unrealistic and are concerned as to the message that it is sending to the young girls watching the movie. My opinion is that it’s a movie. As long as you explain to your children that what happens in movies is fiction, not real, imaginary – then I don’t see why you shouldn’t bring your daughter (teenager) to see this.
This movie was intended to speak to the tween generation – the YouTubers, Snapchatters, etc. – as well as my generation (for nostalgic purposes). Although a bit stretched, it does express the intention that you should strive to do what you truly want to do, and what makes you happy.
The songs were catchy and the costumes were modern 80’s. My final say – it was a decent movie. I feel that they could’ve added more to the story, giving a bit more of a spotlight on the girls’ talent. It’s not the same Jem that I knew but I feel that if they made a movie exactly like the cartoon it would be so outdated and not aptly geared toward today’s tweens.
Here’s the preview in case you haven’t already seen it!