A Taste of Honey

We don’t ask for life. We have it thrust upon us.

100 min     6.9     1961     United Kingdom


Jo is a neglected 16-year-old girl whose promiscuous mother marries a dandy. Jo gets pregnant after a tryst with a black cook, who leaves her over his impending responsibilities of fatherhood, and she only finds support in a gay male friend.


Peter McGinn wrote:
I guess this movie holds a strong place in cinematic history. It may have been the first movie where all the scenes, indoors and out, were filmed on location. And it was certainly bold with plot details such as having a gay main character and an interracial relationship for the main character. Mostly I liked A Taste of Honey just fine. The main character Jo had spunk and a quick tongue, neither of them are a bad thing, though I got a little tired of her woe is me attitude, especially where her mother was concerned. Clearly her mother put herself first when it came to choosing and giving preference to low life men, but she also showed at times that she loved Jo, who probably could have helped her own cause by not being such a royal pain the the butt in nearly every interaction with her. She could count her blessings: her classmates seemed to like her, she had a decent boss in her new job, and a new ally when she met Geoffrey, who she she also moped and complained to a lot of the time. To my ear, the soundtrack seems wildly inappropriate at times, not fitting in with my sense of the scenes, but it perhaps reflects the interests in music of the early 60s. The film was perhaps ahead of its time and can be commended on multiple fronts there, but I fear it will not make a lasting impression upon me.