Ever watch BET and wish someone tacked on a syrupy story to all
the hot girls grinding in skimpy outfits? “Honey”
unrepentingly offers just that — a really long music
video.

Janna Hutz
Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not make any more movies like this, ever! (Courtesy of Universal)

Famed music video director and first-time feature-film director
Bille Woodruff recognizes that “Honey” is just a
glorified video and panders all too willingly to the audience. He
provides sweeping camera shots that bring a welcome mix of the
music video and feature film genres. Actors, however, often break
character and over-act in his overly dramatic cinematic clips.

Jessica Alba (Honey Daniels) is one of the most beautiful people
in entertainment, and while her dancing skills are commendable, her
acting abilities are subpar. Alba has very few substantial lines
and constantly overacts.

The relationship between Honey and best friend Gina (Joy Bryant)
is one of the few necessary and touching character developments in
the film. They accurately portray the forgiving friends who push
one another to each other’s full potential. Unnecessary in
the film is the role of Chaz (Mekhi Phifer), a barbershop owner and
Honey’s love interest. Phifer’s role is uninspiring,
lacking any substance.

Woodruff’s direction ruins Lil’ Romeo’s
(Benny) subtle acting and character development. Romeo is one of
the best actors in this film, uniquely maintaining his character
throughout.

In “Honey,” star-gazing becomes a sport. Everyone
from Missy Elliot to P. Diddy’s manservant, Farnsworth
Bentley, make their presence felt in this runway of hip-hop
stars.

Dancing, around which the film revolves, is the most redeeming
part of “Honey.” Laurie Ann Gibson plays a dual role as
the film’s choreographer and as Katrina, Honey’s rival
dancer. She introduces innovative and unexpected moves that cater
to all ages.

The recurring message is reminiscent of all the VH1 Save the
Music commercials, and the audience almost expects Nas to make a
cameo to say “save the music, y’all.” The dance
routines and charm save “Honey” from being a complete
loss but fail to make it more than a manual on new dance moves.

Rating: 2 stars.

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