Teenager Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples) is an extremely shy but talented singer-songwriter whose dreams of stardom come true when she forms the group Jem and the Holograms. Other members include her younger sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) on keyboards, drummer Shana (Aurora Perrineau) and bassist Aja (Hayley Kiyoko). With help from Rio (Ryan Guzman), the son of the CEO, Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis) of Starlight Music, the four young band members find their own voice while taking the world by storm.
On paper this seems like an odd choice for me but I was just trying to be thorough. I’ve heard of the television series which this is based on but I have never seen an episode. I can’t personally speak to the differences between this film and the tv show but this can. So this should not come as much of a surprise that this film is drowning in girliness so if you’re not comfortable with that, then you probably won’t enjoy this. There are a lot of things going on in this film but the main thing to take away is the message of being yourself, some girl power stuff, and some general empowerment in there (stop me if you haven’t heard any of this before). Based on that, this film definitely does not bring anything new or original to the table. The way it goes about doing this definitely isn’t new or original either. They’re all together, one of them starts to lose their way, and then they find their way back (stop me if you haven’t heard any of this before). So that is pretty much is how the main plot functioned more or less but there was more going on than just that. I guess that was the only way they could have justified the two hour running time (which is probably 15-20 minutes too long in my opinion). I thought the film could have gone without maybe a few of those subplots but I am not in a position to judge their importance because of my unfamiliarity with the series but I was still a little bored and disinterested in them nonetheless. I am also not a big fan of films where the main character narrates the story because I often found this to be unnecessary and redundant as they always just seem to repeat what we are already seeing which I found happened a few times here. I think they could have either toned it down or just gotten rid of it altogether. I was not a big fan of the soundtrack either as I found it to be a little overbearing at times. A thing that annoyed me about this was the use of video throughout the film. During certain dramatic moments, they would cut to what looks to be YouTube videos and the sound from them was used to try to elevate the tension which was just weird to me. Also the film kept showing what looked like fan made videos where they would talk about how Jem helped their lives which just seemed unnecessary to me. The film’s pacing felt odd to me as it was unclear as to how much time had passed. I thought the acting was decent throughout despite the cheesy dialogue. The only exception to this has to Lewis’ Erica Raymond who just felt wrong to me. The musical performances were well done as I thought they looked good and sounded good despite me trying to figure out whether or not they were lip syncing the whole time (I think they were). Overall, this is a decent teen film with some good plot elements with catchy music that is still in my head as I am writing this.