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Finally, a film has supplied me with the words I’ve been longing to type: Jessica Alba is a “Section 8, no-rhythm-having club ho.” Or at least she plays one in Honey, a hiphop fairy tale whose most noteworthy achievement is that it’s not as terrible as
Glitterthough it tries pretty hard to be. Honey begins and ends with Alba’s pasted-on smile, which hardly has cause to wane as her character, who has Big Dreams, is discovered shakin’ her thang in a club and thereby rescued from toiling as a bartender and record-store clerk so she can dance in music videos. But one job Ms. Honey Daniels doesn’t want to give up is teaching hiphop moves “at da centah,” where she can help keep the littlest rappers off the mean Bronx streets. Alas, she must leave themallegedly, she’s just too damn good, and she quickly ascends from mere hoochie dancer to big-time hoochie choreographerbut she still tries to spend her spare time givin’ a little back to the community. Conflict arises in the form of mentor Michael Ellis (David Moscow), the whitest hiphop video director on the planet, who wants to become more than Honey’s business associate. Moscow makes a ridiculous villain, Mekhi Phifer is way too magnetic to be suitable as Honey’s minor love interest, and Lil’ Romeo, though an able pouter, is distracting as an at-risk kid with all the moves. In the end, the film is a paradox: It’s too simplistic to be likable to anyone past puberty, yet its abtastic star is a half-naked Jessica Alba. For the grown-ups, the only thing that could compensate for sitting through the movie’s awful choreography is seeing it performed by, well, a half-naked Jessica Alba. But after the third or so time you hear Honey tell someone that his “flava’s hot!”and notice that the amount of gel in her hair increases with her successyou’ll definitely be feelin’ Michael when he says, “Bitch, how you gonna play me like that?” Tricia Olszewski