Honey (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/03/2004

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Upbeat, cliché-laden, ‘let’s do the show right here’-type of film that’s saved by a perky performance from Alba.

If you’re looking for originality or hard-hitting social commentary, then, frankly, you’ve come to the wrong place. Honey is the type of movie that happily rips off other films such as Flashdance and Fame, even stooping as low as Mariah Carey’s cringe-fest Glitter.

Seamless Blend Of Clichés

In fact, probably the most audacious thing about it is the way in which it seamlessly blends its collection of clichés. At any rate, though it’s not nearly as good as Britney Spears’ cheese-fest Crossroads, it shares that film’s intended core audience of 10-16 year old girls and is sure to be a hit with them, at least.

Jessica Alba (from TV’s Dark Angel) plays Honey Daniels, a pretty girl from The Bronx, who works three jobs (barmaid, record store employee and dance instructor) and struts her funky stuff in the local nightspot with best friend Gina (Joy Bryant), all the while hoping to achieve her dream of getting spotted by a video director. When she catches the eye of music producer Michael Ellis (David Moscow, who was the kid in Big!), he hands her everything she ever wanted on a plate, including the chance to direct music videos. But are his intentions entirely honourable? (Well, no, they’re not, and frankly, who can blame him?).

The clichés don’t end there, however. Oh no. Part of Honey’s rise to fame was achieved by nicking some “moves” off of Street Kid Benny (Lil’ Romeo), so she sets up a video shoot that showcases him and his stylin’ buddies. However, her timing is lousy, as she rejects Michael’s advances the night before the shoot and he cancels it. Boo, hiss, etc.

There’s even some stuff about saving the old community centre, where Honey teaches, so she decides to – yes! - put on a fund-raising hip-hop dance extravaganza show in an old church. And if that wasn’t enough, she also has a tepid romance with down-home barber Mekhi Phifer, who worries about losing her as she hits the big time…

No Real Surprises

So, no real surprises, then. Still, Alba makes an attractive (if too perfect to be true) lead and her sheer all-out perkiness carries the film more than it really deserves. There are also several cameos from real hip-hop stars such as Ginuwine, Tweet and Jadakiss, including a scene-stealing Missy Elliot.

In addition, the script is peppered with the kind of amusingly cheesy one-liners that make it just about conceivable that Honey could become some sort of camp classic once it hits video. Lines such as “You ain’t nothin’ but a no-rhythm, booty-shakin’ club ho!” and the frequently-repeated compliment “Your flavour’s HOT!” could be hitting the streets any time soon. Or maybe not.

In short, Honey is a thoroughly traditional movie aimed squarely at its target MTV-watching audience, which is fine if you’re under 15 or you’ve never seen this sort of movie before. Having said that, you’re probably better off waiting for the video…

Film Trailer

Honey (PG)
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Content updated: 19/07/2018 00:45

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