Single women can’t even sign up for the site; they’ve got to go through a completely different application process to confirm they do live in Russia, and also have their profiles and emails monitored to make sure the ladies aren’t trying to circumvent the system or scam the paying male members. I’ll start by saying that it is a verifiable, secure online dating site, with thousands of women in Russia or the Ukraine, mostly looking to marry a man elsewhere in the world.There are aesthetic flourishes, character dynamics and nature-based motifs here that date as far back as her Oscar-winning 2003 short “Wasp.” Meanwhile, in her thorny but nakedly vulnerable 18-year-old protagonist Star (played by camera-magnetizing newcomer Sasha Lane), Arnold has found a transatlantic twin to Mia Williams, the chipped-enamel heroine of 2009’s “Fish Tank.” Like Mia, Star has a long life ahead of her but not a whole lot to look forward to.With her parents out of the picture for reasons that require some assembly on the audience’s part, she’s left pretty much on her own to provide for two pre-teen charges, foraging for spoiled food in supermarket dumpsters as she dreams modestly of a trailer to call her own.“We found love in a hopeless place,” the song’s chorus ecstatically declares, over and over, as well it might — does it get more hopeless than Walmart, after all?It’s a gesture so brazenly big and romantically literal that it can’t help but have your heart, and it’s such an early, ebullient cinematic climax that Arnold dares repeat it two hours later, cranking up the song again in a more fraught, nervous context.
Only once he starts following the signs to the place, they discover that they're never ending up at their supposed destination. As it starts to get dark they see darting human figures. During periods that weren't drawing me to the edge of my seat, I was thinking, "This thing is kind of like what "Knife In The Water" might have been like had the central couple not been able to get to the boat." And while I try not to be the sort of viewer who second-guesses the choices of a movie's characters, this picture does contain quite a few "Why the hell are you getting out of the car, dummy?”), eye color, height, ethnicity, body type, a description of your looks (self-rated from “Average looking” to “Stunning looking”), marital status, children, smoking habits, country, zip code, and date of birth.After inputting the essential info, new members choose a username and password, upload a photograph, and write three descriptive paragraphs based on the prompts “A little about me,” “About the one I’m looking for,” and “I’d just like to add…” Once the initial profile has been completed, members have the option of adding more detailed information to their profiles." moments, which tend to inhibit willing identification with the protagonists.Then there are the specific mechanics of the plot, which struck me simultaneously as perversely murky and overstated.Mere minutes into “American Honey,” her scrappy, sprawling astonishment of a fourth feature, Andrea Arnold hits the audience with a song choice almost too perfect to work.