Girl meets… bee. 🐝
The premise of this film is balls-out bonkers, frankly. Part thriller, part romance with a dash of courtroom drama, Bee Movie is the first animated film we’ve reviewed as part of the Collab, which is actually shocking given that I live for this shit. It is the second movie about bees though.
This week’s choice is, for some reason, one of those films that has been adopted by the Internet to become something of a cult classic – and I can’t decide if it’s sheer brilliance or the worst thing I’ve ever seen. (Leaning towards the latter).
Bee Movie (2007)
Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.
Where the fuck are you supposed to start with this one? It’s just one bad bee-pun after another with slightly dodgy animation and the weirdest promotion of inter-species romance I’ve ever seen. Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) has graduated school, college and everything else within the space of about a week because bee time is different to human time, obviously.
He has his whole life ahead of him but that thought doesn’t thrill him as much as it should. Destined to be a worker bee until his dying day, Barry has doubts about choosing a vocation that he’ll be doing forever and kicks back against tradition, much to the consternation of his dear parents.
One day he manages to wangle his way in with the Pollen Jocks, the big strong bees that go out into the world and pollinate the shit out of everything. During his first awe-inspiring day trip, he ends up in a fight for his life and is rescued by kind-hearted florist Vanessa (Renée Zellweger).
A friendship (or more?) soon develops between Vanessa and Barry – who share a lot in common – e.g. they like flowers. Barry has inappropriate fantasies about Vanessa that involve her waggling her butt suggestively in a stripey yellow body con and it’s quite uncomfortable. Vanessa’s husband/boyfriend is mad jealous of Barry too which suggests that they must have the shakiest relationship in history. Like, honestly? Bee serious.
You still with me?
One day Barry finds out that humans eat honey (not vegans, bro) – and it blows his tiny mind so much that he decides to sue humankind. Yep. Cue the courtroom segment of this crazy ride, in which Barry and his friend sit at a tiny, tiny desk and take on Layton T. Montgomery (John Goodman), the hotshot lawyer brought in to defend America’s largest honey corporations.
Are you her little… bedbug? ~ Layton T. Montgomery
(What. The. FUCK).
In a disappointing but all too familiar side note, I want to express my annoyance that as per usual the main antagonist of this child’s movie has to be identified as evil by his ginormous gut and gluttonous ways. Because everyone know that one of the most obvious identifiers of truly evil people is their fat (see the Trump rhetoric). Lazy and so not cool, Dreamworks.
It will surprise nobody to learn that Barry and his bee brethren win the case and stop the honey business in its tracks. Montgomery warns Barry that he’s messing with nature but Barry is high on the win and doesn’t take it on-board. Silly arrogant little bee-astard.
Sadly, Montgomery’s prediction comes to something when all the bees are put out of work (who knew?) and all the flowers begin to die because there’s no one left to pollinate them. Vanessa has to close her florist business. Luckily, there’s a perfectly contrived flower festival just a short plane ride away and Bazza comes up with an amazing idea to save the day, the bees and the world’s flowers – and it’s all so ridic I can’t even be bothered to go into the details.
Look, we’re all really here to figure out if a bee and a human woman can really sustain a happy and fulfilling relationship, aren’t we? And the answer is, who knows? Maybe they can, maybe that’s the recipe for success, to find yourself a talking insect and go with the flow.
The bee jokes really grate after a few minutes and Barry is irritating af but I really enjoyed Chris Rock‘s Mooseblood the Mosquito. And I also think, if nothing else, that the dedication to the bee universe and every little detail is quite inspiring.
That said, this is no Shrek and it suffers for the tired dialog.
1.5/5. Bee gone, Barry!