The ads for HONEY suggest that this movie might be more racy than it is, especially considering the PG-13 rating. Although it does contain some material that’s not appropriate for children, the heart of the movie turns out to be a morally uplifting story of one woman who sets aside her career goals to help the youths in her neighborhood.
Jessica Alba stars as Honey Daniels, an aspiring hip hop dancer in New York City who works as a bartender at night and teaches ghetto youths how to dance at her mother’s rundown youth center. Michael, a music video director, catches a video of Honey dancing at her club after her shift is over. He asks her to dance in one of his videos. In fact, he decides that she has the moves to be the lead dancer. Soon, Honey is choreographing Michael’s videos and gives the dance class over to her friend. Things are going so well that, when the youth center has to close due to some flooding, Honey begins to make a down payment on her own dance studio to help her friends, including a little boy, Raymond, and his talented older brother, Bennie, who are in danger of being swept up in the drug dealing lifestyle in the neighborhood.
One night, Michael makes a pass at Honey, who slaps his face and storms out. The next day, Michael cancels her scheduled dance video using the two brothers and the other young dancers in her class. Michael blackballs Honey from getting another job, which prevents her from coming up with the rest of the down payment for the dance studio. With the kid’s help, Honey decides to put on a dance benefit in an abandoned church to raise the rest of the money. Mekhi Phifer plays Honey’s new boyfriend who helps her out.
Taking kids off dangerous streets and giving them a positive outlet for their energy becomes the primary goal for the title character in this movie. Although there are a few sexy dance numbers in the movie, HONEY also contains other dance numbers that are wholesome. In fact, the dance number before the final credits is a rousing community dance where the children and all of Honey’s other dancing friends and students in the neighborhood strut their stuff before a packed audience. In effect, the abandoned Christian church sanctifies their efforts, and all’s well that ends well.
Despite some objectionable elements, therefore, HONEY becomes an uplifting, moral tale that will inspire many viewers. Its story and characters may be somewhat predictable and remind one of all those predictable but heartwarming musicals from Hollywood’s Golden Age, but it’s great to see a movie like this have something more on its mind than just getting fame and fortune and landing the boy. The results of Honey’s compassion for the youth in her neighborhood may even bring a tear or two. Now, how cool is that?
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SUMMARY: In HONEY, an aspiring music video dancer and choreographer tries to help take kids off the streets by raising money for a dance studio in her New York City neighborhood. Despite some mature audience elements, HONEY is an uplifting, ultimately moral story that may inspire many viewers.
(C, BB, LL, V, S, N, A, D, M) Light Christian worldview with solid moral elements about maintaining your moral purity and integrity and sacrificing to help the children in your community; 16 obscenities and one light profanity; woman slaps man for making a pass and drug dealer threatens young woman; a couple sexual references (nothing heavy) and some light suggestive dancing; no nudity, but some female cleavage, midriffs shown, and girls sometimes wear short skirts or shorts; alcohol use and heroine works part time in a nightclub as a bartender; implied drug dealing is strongly rebuked; and, nothing else objectionable.
GENRE: Musical Drama