‘Jem and the Holograms’ Trailer: This Jem Is a Bit More Serious Than You Remember
The first trailer for Jon M. Chu’s Jem and the Holograms has arrived, and as indicated by a few of the photos released yesterday, this take on the classic ‘80s cartoon star is a bit more…serious. There are a couple of moments that promise levity and comedy, like Juliette Lewis’ record exec assuring the girls that it’s not them on that poster — “It’s Photoshop.” This new Jem doesn’t seem truly outrageous at all. She just seems a bit broody.
Jon M. Chu directed the first three Step-Up movies, which is why I was hoping for a Jem and the Holograms film that was a bit more vibrant and lively. Actually, my most desperate (and impossible) hope was that Jem and the Holograms would be more in line with Josie and the Pussycats, an underrated and subversive metatextual musical comedy.
But this Jem and the Holograms skews a bit dark — Jerrica’s father is dead, so she’s afraid to sing in front of people the way she did with him. She lives with her aunt (Molly Ringwald) and her sister, Kimber, along with their foster siblings, Aja and Shana, living a reasonably boring life until the girls put a video of Jerrica (aka Jem) singing on YouTube. The video goes viral, and Jem and the Holograms are propelled to a level of fame they’re not ready for — or at least Jem isn’t ready for it.
Judging by the trailer, there will be lots of drama between Jem and the girls, manufactured somewhat by Juliette Lewis’ nefarious record executive from Starlight. There will also be some boy drama between Jem and love interest Rio, and there’s even a Black Swan moment where Jem freaks out and breaks a mirror.
We also don’t hear much of the film’s original songs in the trailer — just the one at the start, when Jem is on YouTube. A huge part of Jem and the Holograms is the music, and even if the film falters, the music could help save it from its very serious self.
Jem and the Holograms stars Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, Juliette Lewis, Molly Ringwald and Ryan Guzman, and hits theaters on October 23.