Honey's Fantastic Phwoar
There is nothing wrong being cliche, there is nothing wrong with taking an old story or idea and trying to modernize it and as such there should be nothing wrong with "Honey". Here we have the age old tale of triumph over adversity adapted into the modern setting of hip hop music and dance as we watch Honey, a young woman with a talent for dance, try to overcome the odds and a slimy producer to not only make something of herself but help others as well. But "Honey" is a clunky movie which plods its way through a long list of cliches before we get the uplifting and inspiring ending which aims to manipulate your emotions and does so but in a far too obvious way. It sadly means that whilst entertaining "Honey" is also far too often forced and obvious.
Whilst Honey Daniels (Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four) dreams of making it as a dance choreographer in the world of music videos and she helps out at the local youth centre taking dance to the local kids, helping to keep them off the streets of Harlem. When Honey gets her break and is spotted by producer Michael (David Moscow - Just Married) her life changes as she is so busy choreographing music videos that she has little time for her friends back in Harlem. But when Honey rejects Michael's sexual advances he makes sure that she will never work again as a professional choreographer, forcing Honey to try and make amends for leaving her friends behind.
There are in fact 2 themes going on in "Honey" as we watch the talented and to be honest sexy Honey try and make it as a dancer. The first of these themes sees Honey getting her chance to make it as a dance choreographer but becomes so busy that she has no time for her friends and those children she helped out. It's all very obvious and you know at some point that she will end up letting her best friend Gina down but you also know that she will get a wake up call and have to eat some humble pie as she has to try and make amends for not being there for them.
The second theme sees Honey trying to do some good and so after the youth centre is closed she tries to buy a property to start a new dance school for the kids. But of course things aren't that easy, it has to be a battle and in time honoured tradition what does a talented dancer and her dancer friends do, well they put on a show to try and raise the money. Again it is all so very obvious and very emotional as director Bille Woodruff works ever scene, every uplifting dance moment to draw an emotion out of the audience.
The thing is that there is nothing wrong in being basically obvious and reworking old ideas into a modern setting, but it is the fact that it is so clunky. It's as if each cliche is a separate episode so having worked through one cliche it then steps to the next, rarely managing to link them into a smooth flowing story. Of course for younger audiences who "honey" is aimed at and who are unlikely to have seen that many other movies which run with the same ideas it will work. It will work because whilst corny it is inspiring and the various music tracks, cameos from hip hop stars and the copious amounts of dancing will entertain.
Now surprisingly despite being clunky, cliche and corny it is still watch able and that has a lot to do with Jessica Alba. Now to state the blinking obvious she is incredibly sexy through out "Honey" as we get to watch her dance or as some might say gyrate and it is hard to take your eyes off of her. But then she does also create an interesting character one which is more than just a sexy dancer although it does often border on the overly sweet and cheesy. You can't but like Honey as she is a friend to basically everyone, especially the children she tries to help off of the street and whilst the sweetness of it all is so unreal it sort of works.
And to be honest whist Jessica Alba does command your attention she is helped by some nice supporting performances. Mekhi Phifer as Chaz the extremely decent young man who likes Honey does come across as a very nice guy and in a way he is likeable. Where as music video producer Michael played by David Moscow does come across as being shallow, seedy and slimy.
What this all boils down to is that "Honey" is a flawed movie because it is so very clunky as it switches from one trial over adversity cliche to another. But it kind of works and whilst not the greatest trail over adversity movie you will ever watch it is entertaining from the music, the dancing and of course Jessica Alba who may be super sexy also delivers a character with a little depth.