Honour Society: high school comedy with a twist

Honour Society poster. Source: Instagram

By Emily-Rose Toohey

High school-based comedy Honour Society dropped late last month on streaming service Paramount+ and follows plucky senior Honour (played with finesse by Australia’s Angourie Rice) as she pursues her dreams of being accepted into Harvard University.

On paper, the Oran Zegman-directed feature is a fairly standard modern comedy, but the film itself is actually very different.

The lead character consistently breaks the fourth wall (which has become more common in media of late), and audiences spend the first 10 minutes of the movie with Honour as she explains her life, goals, and the people around her.

As a result, viewers may be thinking, ‘is this movie for me?’

Well, watching until the end is extremely worth-it.

Audiences are privy to the small, insular high school world that Honour occupies solely through her eyes, and aside from her main goal of being accepted into a prestigious Ivy League Univesity, it’s established that she has competition that may stop her from achieving this dream.

The school’s leering guidance counsellor (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has a friend who attended Harvard and he’s offering to introduce this friend to one of four students, which would result in a glowing letter of recommendation.

Honour is one of these hopefuls and to ensure her ticket out of the so-called glum town and life she exists in, she schemes to interfere with the other three potential’s studies so their grades will plummet.

But what she isn’t expecting is to find a solid friend group along the way and accidentally bring some goodness into their lives.

One of the students (or targets) is ‘nerdy’ Mike (played by Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo) who sticks to himself, and Honour plans on flirtatiously distracting him from studying.

What she doesn’t expect is to start having romantic feelings for him alongside forming bonds with the other two students while putting on an elaborate school play.

With odes to films like Clueless and Election, Honour Society’s sharp humour and willingness to embrace a morally grey protagonist makes it a compelling watch, but nothing could prepare viewers for the plot twist, which throws any well-intended troupes out the window.

The film takes a dark turn and fortunately nails the ending to an overall funny, intelligent film lead by a very capable rising star, Angourie Rice.