Where to even begin?
There's only one real reason to see Honey. It isn't for the originality in the story. It isn't for the mind-altering, earth-shattering direction. And it certainly isn't because Jessica Alba is the next Glenn Close.
The reason to see Honey is for the dancing and the music. That's why I think that this Rodney Jerkins film - not Jessica Alba's.
Although I liked Save the Last Dance a lot, I never did see Flashdance and I thought that Glitter was pretty blase. What would draw me to this movie? Mostly the dancing. I love dancing. I love to watch dancing. And then, there's the music. I'm a huge fan of it, ya know and any movie that combines the two effectively is one that I'm drawn to.
Honey is like one long dance video, with a bit of a story mixed in with it. Ordinarily, this would bother me but yesterday, after a highly stressful day at work, I welcomed the distraction of a movie that promised no need for extraneous thought.
The story goes like this. Honey (Jessica Alba) is an aspiring dancer in the big city of New York. While she's waiting to get her big break, she bartends at a trendy club, teaches hip-hop dance at a community center (run by her mother), and works the other part of her waking hours in a record store with her best friend Gina (Joy Bryant). One day, the "IT" music video director, Michael Ellis (David Moscow), discovers her and she is wisked away to her first video shoot for Jadakiss.
Her success snowballs. She gets to choreograph videos for Tweet and Ginuwine. And even Missy Elliott wants her.
Her personal life takes off as well as she hooks up with resident barber and all around good guy, Chaz (Mekhi Phifer).
Honey is good at what she does however, she's not prepared for the darker side of the industry. Thinking that she can help out the inner city kids (Lil' Romeo, Zachary Williams), she soon finds out that almost everyone else regards money and sex to be more important than skill and integrity.
And that's the gist of the story.
Now here's all of the stuff it will be knocked for by the critics.
First, the story is a bit over the top on the whole I-wanna-do-good-in-the-world. While there are people who put the welfare of others high up on the list of things to do, most don't sacrifice their own well-being for it. That's the major place where the writers (Alonzo Brown and Kim Watson) went wrong with this story.
Second, Mekhi Phifer was wasted as the barber boyfriend of Jessica Alba. He's such a talent (see O, 8 Mile, and Soul Food) and for him to be the occasional, insert-heart-throb-here, is an insult to all of us.
Third, Lil' Romeo isn't much of an actor. He needs to do a little more preparation for the role as a down and out street kid.
Fourth, veteran music video director, Billie Woodruff, is good at what he does however, he's not an outstanding movie director. He had the story playing second fiddle to the the music and dancing which didn't bother me but for those wanting to buy into the whole I've-got-a-dream story, they were probably disappointed by his approach.
Now for the other stuff.
This movie, hands down, is about the sixteen songs written by Rodney Jerkins. I'm a fan of his so if you wanna sit in my comment section and bash on him, save your words :). He's written some chart toppers like the first single released by Blaque, I'm Good.
Little Zachary Williams is adorable. He's not much of a dancer but he's definitely a cute little actor. I look forward to seeing more of him.
The choreography, provided by Laurie-Ann Gibson, works for all the songs and the various scenes. She's a talented woman, who also appears in the film, as Honey's arch-rival.
Jessica Alba does most of her own dancing here, which is pretty impressive. She's got the look and the moves down and this, combined with Rodney's music and Laurie's choreography, makes it work. Even though Jessica has some issues with keeping her Bronx accent going on, she's kinda cute to watch.
So there you have it. Honey is rated PG-13 for drug content and some sexual references. It's nothing bad enough to prevent you from taking your I-love-dancing kids to see.
Official Site: http://www.honey-movie.com/
Songs on the Soundtrack
Hurt Sumthin / Missy Elliott
I'm Good / Blaque
Gimme the Light / Sean Paul
React / Erick Sermon
Leave Her Alone / Memphis Bleek
Ooh Wee / Mark Ronson
It's a Party / Tamia
Thugman / Missy Elliott
Now Ride / Fabolous
J-A-D-A / Jadakiss
Think of You / Amerie
Closer / Goapele
I Believe / Yolanda Adams
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