Honey full movie review - Even Alba's looks couldn't save this mess...
* out of **** stars
Yeah, yeah we've seen this before over and over. Small time dancer looking to make it to the big time breaks into the big time through luck of chance and communicates with kids through dance, while her parents hate what she does urging she get into another more distinguished profession, she begins breaking it big time, cue cameos from hip hop stars, and becomes a little too big for her friends, falls in love with the guy from the hood but is torn between her career and her man, la di da, and while I really wanted to like this movie, simply for its appeal and the first twenty minutes which really had me amped, this is pretty badly done.
The film, which is a retread of so many films with the same story and themes along with plot elements that are badly recycled from movies like "Dirty Dancing", "Saturday Night Fever", and I swear to god "Sister Act", has nothing new to offer. So we have Honey Daniels (Marie was taken), who loves to dance, the girl loves it and she teaches dancing at the local community center during the day, whether for pay or free it's never indicated, but she works at the bar at night, where does the chick get her energy? And where can I buy it? And, by luck of fate, is recruited by a video director after winning in a dancing duel (is there any other?) with a rival dancer and begins her career in the music video industry.
Now it's never indicated if she plans on being a dancer, a video dancer or just a teacher, but she has the best of intentions! The really hot neighborhood girl with a heart of gold, don't ya just love them? And we're never sure if the boys hang around her to dance, because she's nice, or if because they're trying to catch a peek at the good. And she begins to get more famous in the video industry with her skills choreographing dancers and becoming a hit in the industry.
Now the plot resolution is a bit thin and very jumbled here with a story that goes everywhere including a romance with the local barber whose badly set up with no back story and they get involved with one another. The problem is there's no conflict between Alba and Pfeiffer's character and their romance, there's no obstacles or chemistry so their relationship and focus of, is just boring, so inevitably Pfeiffer has no reason to be here other than as a plot device.
Then we witness a lot of sub plots involving the neighborhood kids including Lil Romeo who plays a local kid on the way to juvie with a life of crime, and we witness Honey get into the life of a music star directing videos, and of course canoodling with "famous" hip hop stars like Ginuwine and Tweet, and she experiences the same conflicts you'd expect like facing off against obligatory villains, and, suddenly out of the ballpark, comes this odd sub-plot where she conveniently stumbles onto an abandoned gym for sale and wants to raise money to teach and have the kids get off the streets and on the dance floor, but she doesn't have it, so she makes a bargain with the bank to give her thirty days to raise the money. Why thirty days? You naive fool, to stretch out the movie.
So, we have a plot development in the second half that should have been the focus of the entire film (raising the money for the center) while we tread through really bad sub plots and under-developed characters including her mother who has no emphasis and wants her daughter "to see everything in the world". Considering they're a low class family, it's pretty impossible to travel around the world, and we never know if the mother pressures her daughter because she's an overbearing witch, or because she wants the best for her daughter. Some mothers would accept a really fine, really beautiful, smart, talented and popular dancer whose good with kids, but, parents, you just can't please them sometimes.
So, Honey decides to raise the money for her kids and with a lot of plot holes including one big one involving Lil Romeo's character committing a crime, a lot of cheesy elements like a running gag with musician Missy Elliot searching for Honey to have her in her video which wore thin really quickly with Missy's over acting, not to mention there are the always lovable villains of the story which aren't needed but they're there to get the plot moving.
Poor Jessica Alba is so far - fetched in her ghetto fabulous get up and horrible slang she delivers in every other word and her delivery just wasn't believable and it's hard to swallow her as a girl from the Bronx while her character is oddly drawn to the local neighborhood kids who are really annoying, there's even a really badly done scene in the barbershop where Honey meets Chaz played by Pfeiffer. So after the dumb hokey climax that really didn't make a lot of sense, and closing credits that really didn't register, we realize we've wasted a valuable amount of our time, only to catch a glimpse of Jessica Alba in a leotard. It's why I watched.