This 'Honey' not so sweet

Jessica Alba's hip-hop film 'Honey' offers a shallow look into New York dance life


2 / 4 stars

PG-13, 98 m Starring: Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer and David Moscow Directed by Bille Woodruff

Honey is perfect. She has the perfect body, she is a talented dancer (we know this is true because Missy Elliott thinks so, and Missy knows everything), she unselfishly does everything to better the lives of others, and the worst thing she has ever done is skip out on her best friend's birthday to go to a VIP party.

Honey, played by a very peppy Jessica Alba with awfully good wardrobe and makeup, is an angel who has come to save the New York City children with hip-hop dance. But, alas, she has to face many obstacles on the road to salvation.

The movie opens with Honey working as an overwhelmingly optimistic bartender and record store clerk who teaches hip-hop classes at the local community center. In the typical Hollywood fashion, Honey is immediately scouted out by music video director Michael Ellis (David Moscow), who just happens to get some video footage of Honey dancing in a club. Coincidence? Luck? Nope, it's just the screenwriters trying to pretend stuff like that actually happens.

With the help of Michael, Honey rises to the top of the music video industry and becomes the most sought-after choreographer in the industry, working with everyone from Tweet to Jadakiss to Genuine.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Mr. Hot Director is only looking for sex, and when Honey refuses, he has her blacklisted from the music video world. But don't despair, all hope is not lost for our precious heroine. After being rejected by the world of money, sex and power, Honey has an epiphany and rejects it right back, realizing that she must open a dance studio to help the children in her neighborhood stay off the streets.

So remember kids: Hip-hop will save you, and just because some hip-hop artists do drugs and shoot people doesn't mean that you should.

The kids, namely Raymond, played by the cutest child on earth, Zachary Williams, are fun and certainly seem worth Honey's efforts, but they are stereotyped and flat. The love story between Honey and barbershop owner Chaz (Mekhi Phifer) is pointless and adds nothing to the movie except a complimentary, but still pretty hot, kiss in a barber's chair that ends in a fade-out (sorry, no gratuitous sex or nudity).

This movie is predictable, poorly acted with dialogue so bad it is almost funny (key word being "almost") and while mildly uplifting at the end, it does not elicit the emotion it seems to desire.

As far as entertainment goes, "Honey" is slightly amusing, but it is not quite as deep as it makes itself out to be. As shallow as it is, however, one lesson may be learned: If a girl looks like Jessica Alba she just needs to shake it in some club and a few days later she'll be giving a lap dance to some rapper in his next video.

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