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:: Honey

Poor Jessica Alba. The charismatic actor's career seemed so promising, so what on earth happened? Who allowed her to do this film? Directed by music video creator Billie Woodruff and written by Alonzo Brown and Kim Watson - we must know who is responsible - Honey is horrid. It is Glitter’s bastard son.

Honey Daniels is a poor girl from the bad side of town who has three jobs to support her dream of becoming a hip-hop dancer in music videos. Woodruff’s influence is evident here along with a reminiscence of Flashdance. One night she goes dancing after her shift at the bar where she works and low and behold someone who works at a ‘music video’ production office captures her ‘nasty’ moves. A tape featuring Honey is passed on to a premiere ‘white boy’ hip-hop music video director. Meanwhile back in her rough and hopeless neighbourhood, Honey is at her second job where she funnily enough teaches hip-hop in an old run down community building to underprivileged kids. Here she meets Benny (Lil’ Romeo, the only saving grace of this film) who is headed towards danger if Honey doesn’t interject and save him through dance from his ultimate doom as a gang banging drug dealer.

Meanwhile music video director Michael Ellis (David Moscow) chases after Honey and not only wins her in his next music video, he gets her to choreograph it as well.
As her career is on the up and up she meets and falls for barber Chaz (Mekhi Phifer) who gives her some perspective on her rising stardom as she mixes and mingles with hip-hops best. Meanwhile back at the block, young Benny gets busted for drug dealing and her beloved community centre is deemed unsafe and must be closed down. Now what? All the kids have no place to dance a la Footloose.

Michael takes Honey to a swanky industry night insisting it is not a date until he gets drunk. He tries to kiss her and confesses he’s wanted her all along, as seen in Glitter. When she denies him he sabotages her career and her only chance of getting the neighbourhoods’ kids off the streets and in the latest hip-hop video. Broke, back in her unglamorous town, and having nowhere to dance, she decides to save Benny and all the other kiddies in the ‘hood by holding a benefit to raise money to buy back the community centre and turn it into Honey’s dance studio, where dreams really do come true.

The finale is as cheesy as they come complete with sing-a-long and Missy Elliot who drops by and decides she must have Honey and the street kids in her next music video. And there you have it, all is well that ends well.

The story isn’t exactly anything new, but what is these days? However, it does seem as if it really struggles to maintain any kind of plausible storyline. Mekhi Phifer’s talents are clearly wasted here, as is Alba’s, although one wonders if it could get any worse for her after this effort. Hopefully not. She is gorgeous to look at and for a poor girl working three jobs looks fabulous all throughout. However, the only revelation here in this female 8 Mile is Lil’ Romeo who saves the day as Lil’ Benny; the soul who Honey tries to save.

Sometimes music video directors direct music videos for a reason. All that glitters is not gold and all style, and no substance is easily sold.