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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Honey (review)

Whaddaya know: it’s a movie about music videos from a hot music-video director, Bille Woodruff, that actually looks and feels like a real movie instead of a frenetic, quick-cut advertisement. Even more surprisingly, it’s a sweetly old-fashioned movie to boot. TV’s Jessica Alba stars as Honey Daniels, a girl from the Bronx who just wants to dance and keep talented, neglected kids off the street, so she teaches a hip-hop class at the youth center and haunts auditions, hoping to be discovered. But her twin ambitions get in each other’s way when she lucks into a job as a music-video choreographer and the kids, for some of whom she is the only reliable adult in their lives, resent her abandonment of them. Never fear: Honey’s the kind of plucky gal that inspirational, uplifting, triumph-of-the-human-spirit movies love, and she’ll find a way to make it all work. There’s some spectacular dancing and less corn than you’d imagine, plus an appealing cast — Alba is adorable and Joy Bryant (Antwone Fisher) as Honey’s best friend is a hoot, but the show is stolen by 8-year-old Zachary Isaiah Williams as the littlest hip-hopper. And here’s the nice side of rap: no cop-killin’, no bitches and hos, nothing hard-core at all, just the rhythm of the streets given their legitimate due.

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MPAA: rated PG-13 for drug content and some sexual references

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
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