Directed by Bille Woodruff, starring Jessica Alba, Lil' Romeo, Mekhi Phifer, David Moscow, Zachary Isaiah Williams, Joy Bryant, Missy Elliott and Laurie Ann Gibson.
At last a dance movie that gets it right, well mostly right. Steering away from a possible pileup of clichés, 'Honey' manages to leave one or two in for good measure and get away with them in a slick, feelgood way.
Honey Daniels (Alba) is a talented club dancer and choreographer, day-jobbing to support herself while saving all her free time for the real love of her life. When Honey and her best friend Gina (Bryant) hit the floor, rival dancer Katrina (Gibson) is the only one who does not stop to look in awe. And it isn't long before she's turning heads amongst the big music producers and video directors.
Michael Ellis (Moscow) is the man Honey has been waiting to meet all her life. One of the top video directors in the country, he can make her famous. So when he spots her in a club and invites her to become part of his crew it seems that all her prayers have been answered. Choreographing for the rich and famous, the name Honey Daniels soon becomes very well-known, with Missy Elliott going to extraordinary lengths to enlist her services.
But true to such a teeny bopper movie there are plenty of dilemmas thrown into the mix. Just what will Honey be prepared to do for the sake of her job? Will she remember her friends when she starts to mingle with celebrities and what will become of the ghetto kids from her community dance studio? Now, this all might sound a bit fluffy, but there are few wrong steps amongst the array of peppy dance moves that clamour for our attention.
For the most part, the story of Honey's involvement with street kids Benny (Lil' Romeo) and Raymond (Williams) is the most captivating. The antics, colour and street lingo of the tough kids who put Honey through her paces invigorates the movie, with the young Williams stealing the limelight.
And lest we forget the love story for good measure, which may sound like the final cliché nail in the coffin. But not so, it's a nice story, one where persistence pays off and Chaz (Phifer) takes the disillusioned Honey back to reality and opens her eyes to a wider world than her own.
Alba confidently steers away from the irritating qualities that can drain such a high-energy film and pulls in a cheekily impressive performance. If just for the beats, 'Honey' is worth a watch.