Jem and the Holograms | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Jem and the Holograms

A “Certified Grade-A Hot Mess” of a musical teen comedy

Making a strong showing for worst movie of the year is this musical comedy, an unwanted origin story for the titular gals and long-ago stars of a 1980s animated TV show and line of Hasbro toys. Jon M. Chu’s film follows Jem (Nashville’s Aubrey Peeples) and her three sisters as they get plucked from obscurity and, within hours, with the help of social media and an instant record deal, turn into the world’s hottest, most influential pop band. (Hashtag Jem!) It also features: a rags-to-riches-to-heartbreak story; some of the worst outfits seen outside of the WWE; Molly Ringwald (as your mom!); Juliette Lewis, giving evil-record-label-executive realness; a cute but bland guy; a dancing robot named Synergy; some holograms; numerous PSAs about loving yourself; YouTube videos of kids dancing in their bedrooms (or facsimiles thereof); and a water-skiing squirrel. This is two hours of, peppered with gratingly bad pop songs, and featuring a wildly over-optimistic ending that sets up a sequel. If you must see this, see it soon.

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