Jem And The Holograms (2016)
Jem is a cartoon that I only remember very vaguely from when I was younger, but I decided to buy the DVD boxset because I was rather entertained by the mixture of 80s pop music, far-fetched situations, and ludicrous hairstyles. It was just so all rather overblown. I was then rather surprised to discover that not only had there been a film made of this, but it was a live-action one too.
This was about three decades on from the launch of the original cartoon, and times have changed since. I know that I am not exactly in the target audience for all this, but I wondered how this would all play out, and if this could be adapted to appeal to the current younger generation. We start with young Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples), along with her sister Kimber, plus friends Aja and Shana. One of them says “outrageous!”, just like in the cartoon!
Jerrica’s aunt Bailey is played by Molly Ringwald, who was married to Peter Griffin (no, that’s not right). One day, a video of Jerrica’s performance becomes famous, and she is suddenly a pop star! But she really is a different person, having transformed into Jem, thanks to a weird robot thing that was invented by her dad. Bigwig Erica Raymond (changed from the male Eric in the cartoon) is interested in her. And it’s time for her to enjoy her six minutes of fame.
Suddenly she was making people want to dye their hair pink, so it wasn’t all bad. She can travel around the world and is greatly admired, and all because, like, she believed in herself. The Holograms do get on well, make it last forever, friendship never ends. Sorry, wrong female group. This was almost two hours long, and ended with a brief appearance by rival band The Misfits, and that was a shame, as their story would’ve been a more interesting experience to tap into.
A lot of people were very disappointed by Jem And The Holograms, and this was also a flop at the box office. The thing that I didn’t really like about this was that it made Jem come across as a teenage girl who got lucky and was at about the level of someone who came seventh on American Idol, when in the cartoon she was actually a big-selling singer/songwriter along with being a hard-working professional businesswoman.
Some people who have made fan videos online playing the characters have managed to capture the style of the cartoon better, which doesn’t seem right. As far as I know, this hasn’t been shown on TV in this country, and the only extra on the DVD is a brief making of. There is little of the glamour and fame that was promised featured here.