When Shia LeBouf was in rehab, his therapist asked him to write down some of his memories, as they thought he was suffering from PTSD. Those writings, fleshed out, became the screenplay for ‘Honey Boy.’ Sadly, it feels like it. I know a lot of people like this film immensely, but I am not on that camp. For the most part, I thought the film was self-indulgent and one note. I empathize with what the character went through (here the LaBeouf character is named Otis) and the performances are across-the-board outstanding, but I didn’t connect with the film at all.
Maybe it’s misery fatigue? i didn’t find anything new in this story, or even in how Director Alma Har’el tells it. It isn’t broad enough to be interesting for me, and perhaps it should have had a little more back story for context? Noah Jupe, who plays Otis is great, mixing innocence and kid-smart. LaBeouf, playing his father, is raw and edgy, and I could imagine playing this character must have been very cathartic for him. And Lucas Hedges, playing young adult Otis is great, and I think he has never looked more attractive on screen. The film is not necessarily a total waste of time, but I question if it needs to exist.