Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Once I Was a Beehive Review
If you are reading this review, there is a good chance that you are a member of the LDS church and already know what a beehive is. But for the chance that you aren't a member, allow me to explain. No, we aren't talking about the home of one of those black and yellow flying, stinging insects that we call bees. The LDS church is a very organized church with a lot of different groups and classes that we split up into for various reasons. The young women of the church have their very own organization where the girls aged 12-18 are split into three different groups, based on age, called Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels. Don't ask me where they got those names from, but that's what it's been. Beehives are the girls aged 12-13. Thus our movie title. Once I Was a Beehive. The movie actually follows a non-member teenage girl named Lane who is suffering from the loss of her father. On top of that, she is also upset that her mother got re-married as fast as she did to a faithful Mormon guy. With this marriage she has a new 12-year-old cousin that she quickly becomes close to and through a certain chain of events, she agrees to go with this cousin to girl's camp, which is where the majority of this movie takes place.
This isn't just a sad, depressing movie the whole time. This movie is also a blast. Yes, there were several scenes that almost brought me to tears, but there were even more scenes that had me busting up laughing. Seeing a non-Mormon girl jump head first into Mormon culture without much warning or knowledge of what she was getting herself into was played rather well and was very amusing. In addition to that, you get all the different stereotypes with these Mormon teenage girls as well as their leaders and it's just fun to watch all of them as they go throughout the week. I haven't ever been to a girl's camp before, so I don't really know what it's like, but I've been around enough girls growing up that I feel that this movie was most likely spot on with girl's camp and all the fun, crazy adventures and stories that come from that. I made sure to gauge the reaction of all the girls around me because I was one of the few males actually in the theater and they all seemed to love every minute of this movie. I think there's two things that you can take from this. First off, I had a lot of fun with this movie, so this isn't a movie where you have to have been to girl's camp to enjoy. Second, if you actually have been to a girl's camp at some point in your life, this is an absolute must see. All the girls around me were laughing and bawling the whole movie. I was secretly listening in on conversations as I was walking out of the theater and reaction was extremely positive. In fact, when the credits rolled, my theater gave the movie a standing ovation.
I say that I haven't ever been to girl's camp. This is true. But I did go on plenty of week-long scout camps when I was a teenager in the church as well as plenty of high-adventure camps and outings and even though a guy's camp and girl's camp are obviously going to be very different, I feel there are several principles that are similar. The main thing is you have a lot of different people at different ages with different backgrounds all coming together for a week. There's always ups and downs throughout the week, but despite the differences, there's a special bond that you all form that week. Because of that bond, there are many memories that are made that you will never forget. In fact, these memories are some of my best childhood memories. I'll never forget the time we went on a 50-mile hike over the course of three days or spent the week in the Uintas or the Teetons. It's the best. This movie did a very good job of capturing this. All these girls are very different from each other, but they all form a great bond and it's fantastic watching them all come together. This is done so well due to great performances all around. I could start name dropping here because I've never heard of any of these actresses, but they were all great. I especially liked our main girl and her new 12-year-old cousin who were played by Paris Warner and Mila Smith. Huge props to these girls for carrying this movie and huge props to all of the supporting cast around them.
Overall, I was super impressed with Once I Was a Beehive. I almost chose to not see the movie at all because it didn't seem like a movie I'd enjoy, but I'm glad that I decided to give it a shot because it was a great overall experience. It had a moving story that hit home for me. I was almost brought to tears several times. I also had a whole lot of fun with the movie as I was laughing out loud throughout. Great story. Great writing. Great characters. Great acting. Great message. This is a movie that needs to be seen. According to the movie's facebook page, this will be leaving Utah soon, so if you live in Utah I'd recommend you don't hesitate with this one and see it as soon as possible, before it disappears. If you live outside of Utah, this will be expanding a bit in the next month or so at least to places like Idaho and Arizona. If you can't catch it in theaters, then you need to find it when it comes to DVD. It will be all over in places like Deseret Book before too long. Will you like this if you are not of member of the LDS church? I don't know. Maybe? But if you are a member, you need to see this regardless of your age and gender. It really is one of the best LDS films in my opinion. My grade for Once I Was a Beehive is a 9/10.