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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Jessica Alba, Lil’ Romeo, Mekhi Phifer, David Moscow, Zachary Williams
Director: Bille Woodruff

FOOTLOOSE, FLASHDANCE and FAME. What do they all have in common? Well, let us see. They are all musical movies with dance moves in them, they were all released in the 1980’s and they all start with the letter F. Okay, next question, starter for 10, what would a modern day version of, say, FLASHDANCE be like if it was made for today’s audience? The answer is with this harmless attempt called HONEY.

Honey Daniels, played by the easy on the eyes Jessica Alba from the TV show DARK ANGEL, wants to be a dancer and goes out of her way to prove it. She goes to video shoot auditions, runs a hip-hop and R&B dance class at her local neighbourhood centre, works at a record store by day and tends bar at night in a club where she can strut her stuff once she has finished work. She is brought to the attention of video director Michael Ellis (David Moscow) who offers Honey a spot as a back-up dancer on one of his latest music video shoots. Upon her arrival on the set, Honey is in awe of all the activity but when Michael is unhappy about the dance moves his choreographer is producing, he gives Honey a chance to come up with something on the spot for the back-up dancers of which she delivers.

Honey gains the respect of some of the young local gangsta wannabes who she has been trying to recruit to her dance class. She believes that she can get the likes of young Benny (Lil’ Romeo) off the streets if he is given a chance to do what she knows he is capable of and that is to dance. No matter what she does to please her friends, her time seems to be more taken up by Ellis who employs Honey to choreograph one video shoot after another. When Honey is given a chance to include the kids from her dance class in a Ginuwine video shoot, not everything turns out exactly as planned. The night before the shoot Ellis makes a pass at Honey who refuses his advances. Honey fears the worst the next day when two seconds into the video shoot; Ellis stops filming and demands Honey to tell her kids that they are all fired. Honey finds it hard to get a job after that and with mounting debts, what is a girl supposed to do?

This is an enjoyable romp and the music itself is of a higher quality than it has any right to be. This is mostly down to Grammy Award winning Rodney Jerkins who penned most of the new tracks heard in the movie. The social commentary is hard to ignore as we go from run down neighbourhoods to the rich clean high living parties that come with Honey’s new found fame. It would seem that the music business likes to make deals in such surroundings so that they can create music to the masses that will never ever reach their social status.

A scene-stealing cameo by Missy Elliot just shows that not all artists portrayed in the movie are blind to who their target audience are, as she attempts to keep things real. For those of you that decide to go to see this, watch out for the boom mic rearing its ugly head in at least three scenes. This is enjoyable fluff and the general mood of the movie leads to only one possible conclusion that is allowed.

4 out of 6 stars