A Taste of Honey

Director: Tony Richardson
Year Released: 1961
Rating: 2.0

Snotty Jo (Rita Tushingham) lives with her verbally abusive alcoholic mother Helen (Dora Bryan) but eventually she runs off, discovers she's preggers (by a sailor who quickly returns to the sea) and shares an apartment with a gay man (Murray Melvin), who offers to enter into a marriage of convenience with her. The tone in acts one and two is definitely off considering the grim scenario - there's too much bouncy music, it's too energetically shot - and most of the characters are deeply unpleasant, spending their time shrieking at each other - it should come as no surprise that Melvin's character comes across as the most empathetic of all of them, considering Richardson's personal life. The final suggestion that Jo has 'become an adult' in the process is questionable (simply having a child does not make you mature) ... and I don't see Helen changing her ways.