Jem and the Holograms is a 2015 American musical fantasy drama film co-produced and directed by Jon M. Chu, written by Ryan Landels, and starring Aubrey Peeples as the title character, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, Aurora Perrineau, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald, and Juliette Lewis.
Borrowing elements from the 1980s animated television series Jem by Christy Marx, the film was produced by Hasbro Studios and Blumhouse Productions. Chu’s interest in developing a film adaptation of Jem is based on having grown up watching the original animated series with his sisters.
Teenage songwriter Jerrica Benton and her younger sister Kimber live with their Aunt Bailey and two foster sisters, Aja and Shana. The four girls frequently videotape themselves playing music and wearing colorful 80’s outfits just for fun, but Jerrica is too shy to sing on camera. Jerrica learns one day that due to Aunt Bailey’s financial problems their house will be auctioned. She vents her emotions by recording a song with the video camera Kimber uses to post blogs. She disguises herself by calling herself Jem, her deceased father’s nickname for her.
She forgets to delete the video, and an Internet-obsessed Kimber posts it onto YouTube. The video attracts millions of views in a single day. Jerrica is offered a record deal by Starlight Productions and travels to LA with her sisters. They meet music producer Erica Raymond and her son Rio. Erica is polite and courteous with the four girls but shows particular interest in Jerrica, who she sees as a potential superstar.
The girls settle down in LA and discuss their next move. They’ve brought along a small robot called 51N3RG.Y (pronounced synergy) built by the Benton sisters’ deceased father, Emmett. The robot suddenly activates itself and leads them on a scavenger hunt. Each clue represents something Jerrica did or wanted to do with her father. The objective is to find several missing pieces designed to fit into the robot so that it can be fully activated. The girls find the first piece in the Santa Monica Pier. They find the second clue in a guitar once owned by Jerrica’s father when, by coincidence, the band plays a concert.
Rio and Jerrica begin to develop feelings for each other, much to Erica’s dismay. Erica signs Rio off to another singer in an attempt to keep him away from Jerrica. Aunt Bailey tells Jerrica via FaceTime that their house is going for auction in a few days. Desperate to save the home, Jerrica asks Erica for an advance. Erica says she’ll happily obliges, but only if Jerrica agrees to leave her sisters and start a solo contract. Jerrica relents, believing she is doing it for the family. Her sisters discover the truth about the contract, denounce her for leaving them out of the deal, and leave. After a dull solo performance, Jerrica becomes depressed over her mistake and goes to visit the LA house where she used to live with Kimber and her father.
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