Parents' Guide to

Head Full of Honey

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Alzheimer's dramedy has language, unrealistic behavior.

Movie PG-13 2018 139 minutes
Head Full of Honey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

So much truth about Alzheimers

As an attorney who has specialized in end of life illness and providing for Alzheimers victims for the last 235 yrs, and going thru it with my mother, this is an incredibly accurate film, albeit enhanced with a storyline sufficient to make it humorous for movie audiences-- yet truly not out of the realm of the often crazy reality (and horror) of Alzheimers. Nick Nolte should have been nomi ated for an Oscar.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This film's heart is in the right place, but there's so much wrong about it that it ends up hurting more than helping. German actor/director Til Schweiger, remaking his own 2014 German-language hit (which was on his country's shortlist for Oscar submission), takes a humanist approach in Head Full of Honey. He seems to be arguing for the quality of a person's life above all else, even as that person's mind dims. Thus the road-trip scenario: It's about, as the film puts it, trying to heal with joy. But the film takes so many leaps in the name of comedy that it comes across as advocating dangerous behavior -- and even making dementia "cute" for laughs.

Schweiger has landed an outstanding cast. While it's disarming to see Nolte in a cuddly role (the younger Nolte is his real-life daughter), Dillon and Mortimer are wasted as a bickering couple. Veterans like Jacqueline Bisset, Eric Roberts, Claire Forlani, and Greta Scacchi also keep popping up. And the family's behavior is dangerously irresponsible. They don't take restrictive action after Amadeus shoots up a room with Tilda in it, proves he's out of touch with reality, and almost burns down their home twice. He drives, unable to respond to traffic lights, and gets in accidents. No one is hurt, but there are no repercussions at all. Then he accompanies Tilda on an improvised trek across Europe. Nick Nolte is such a skilled actor that he finds moments of truth while struggling with his "head full of honey," but more often, Amadeus is committing goofy antics for viewers' yuks. Schweiger is a veteran director, but he makes bizarre decisions. His use of score and musical breaks sounds forced and Hollywoody. His rapid editing (he's also co-editor) is distracting: In a quiet eulogy scene, he inexplicably moves the viewer's eye all over the church. The script has its charming moments, but Head Full of Honey is ultimately bogged down by tone and plot problems.

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