American Honey

American Honey ★★★★

I never sold magazines before, but I did sell popcorn. This was because I was a Boy Scout, and like this movie there was a sense of community around it. But what was nice is that selling popcorn was just a small fragment of the larger community, and we did other things like camping, hiking, and informal hangouts. The characters in American Honey don't have that same luxury, as their community is encompassed by selling magazines, not the way I had which was the other way around.

The characters sell various things, and the definition of what they're selling seem to vary depending on their perspective of things. Jake in the first sale we see on-screen says that he isn't selling magazines but himself – as an investment in his future – yet in order to do this he lies and manipulates, and what he ends up selling is an image of himself.

"This is a business opportunity. We go door to door. We sell magazines. We explore, like, America. We party. Come with us."

But later on he gets upset when he thinks Star is selling her body. She likes him and he likes her, but they are prevented from being together for various reasons; we also don't know how committed he really is, as he seems to not really know what it is he wants. So why does he care what it is she sells? Does she even know what it is she sells? In a way, it's more honest than what Jake sells as she doesn't have to lie to succeed.

At one point they drift to a wealthier area due to a strong oil industry. They talk about how the workers there are rich and make $100,000 a year. The way they talk about it is surprising, as while this is a six-figure salary it's small in terms of the truly-rich and the people who earn it have similarly blue-collar backgrounds. They're very similar in a lot of areas, but in terms of earnings they are not: the oil workers are tied to a location while the magazine sellers are not, yet both work for a boss that profits off their labor.

"Do you have any dreams?"

"Like future dreams?"

Jake and Star value the freedom they have, but it's hard to say if they're really free. In the end the only thing they have is their community, as they wander across like American nomads.

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