Honey is about a young girl, named Honey Daniels, who dreams of becoming New York's next top choreographer. During the day she teaches kids how to dance at a local Youth Center, by night she tends bar, and in between those two gigs, she's hitting the pavement trying to break into the music industry.
Then one day she gets her big break, and everything starts to look up. She even discovers a new dream… a dream to get the kids in her neighborhood off the streets, while still pursuing her dream of becoming sought-after choreographer.
There's only one problem. When Honey turns down a sexual relationship with her boss, and mentor, he blacklists her.
Unable to find work, she turns to her dance class to help her raise the money needed to open the dance studio.
I loved Honey when it first came out and I still love it.
It’s high energy; has a great family-friendly story line; and offers hope while instilling good morals and values. And if that's not enough, it leaves the viewer with a feel-good, “anything is possible” attitude.
There’s a part in the film where Honey is on a first date and she asks her date, the Barber shop owner, Chaz (Mekhi Phifer), how he turned out so good.
He says he just got lucky, then he tells her a story about how the previous owner of the Barber Shop saw him going down the wrong road and took a special interest in him. When the shop owner died, he left the shop to Chaz.
Then he explains how a local drug dealer/ex-friend thinks he's a loser and says, “…like I’m the one who’s losing, like I’m missing something out there. But he and I both know who’s winning. I found something that I truly love, that truly makes me happy—that’s a million times better than finding something that makes you rich.”
What a profound statement: simple, yet deep.
I think our society concentrates so much on having more, being more, and doing more that we’re made to feel guilty for being content with our station in life, for wanting careers that make us happy and not rich, for wanting nothing more than to spend more time with our family and friends.
And it shouldn't be that way.
We shouldn't be made to feel guilty for loving our lives. And we shouldn't be forced to constantly strive for something that doesn't make us happy.
Yes, providing a stable, secure lifestyle for our family is important, but I have to wonder… if we’re miserable in our careers or miserable with our quest for more money, are we really helping our families or are we hurting them?
When I think about my kids and their future, I don’t see dollar signs. It's true that I don't want them to struggle from paycheck to paycheck, but I also want them to truly be happy with the careers they choose and the lives they live.
Can you imagine waking up every morning, and going to work knowing that money isn’t the only reason you are there? Can you imagine doing something you love so much that you pinch yourself every morning and ask, “Am I really getting paid to do this?”
That’s how Chaz lives his life, and that's what he teaches Honey to do, too.
Order Honey from Amazon
My daughter rediscovered Honey last week and has watched it five times a day, every day! When I asked her why, she said, "I like how Honey wants to do something for the kids to have a safe, fun place. I wish someone would do that for us; for every town. I love to watch the dance moves!" And with that, she went outside and began practicing her hip hop moves.
Disclosure: The reviewer purchased a copy of the DVD to review.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Sweet Home Alabama is about a young woman named Melanie Smooter, a.k.a. Melanie Carmichael, who leaves behind her small town roots to make it big in New York City as fashion designer. The problem is that when she left her hometown of Pidgeon, Alabama, she did it so abruptly that she hurt a lot of people in the process… including her husband, Jake Perry.
It's now seven years later and she's engaged to Andrew Hennings— the son of New York City's mayor; only Jake never gave her a divorce.
Reluctantly, Melanie returns to small town Alabama to force Jake to sign the divorce papers. But when Jake refuses, Melanie makes an ass out of herself by putting every one of her old friends down, and disrespecting both her mama and her daddy.
It's then that she has to take a good, hard look at herself and her life… and it's then that she realizes that while small town Alabama wasn't everything she needed, neither was/is New York City.
This is supposed to be a love story—a story of how a young Melanie Smooter falls in love with ten-year-old Jake Perry, marries him right out of high school, and then leaves him to find herself… only to return home some years later to discover that she never stopped loving him.
And though that message is definitely an underlying story, the real story seems to be with Melanie coming to terms with who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be.
I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Melanie. She can be arrogant, uppity, and down-right vicious. But there's also this softer side to her that can be quite charming.
What I like about the film is that it's more of a coming of age story, than a romantic comedy.
Not only does Melanie have some serious apologizing to do with Jake, but she needs to confront the embarrassment she feels about where she came from and learn to love her parents for who they are, not who she wishes they were. And she needs to learn to appreciate the positives that come with growing up in small town America—like the friendships she left behind when she moved to New York City.
I was surprised to learn that so many critics hated/hate Sweet Home Alabama. I think there's a sweet charm to it that's worth watching… especially on days when you're under the weather and just need a feel good, no brainer film.
And let's face it, the opening storyline where Jake tells Melanie that he wants to marry her so that he can kiss her anytime he wants is simply priceless. I'd watch the film for that opening scene any day of the week!
Order Sweet Home Alabama from Amazon
Disclosure: The reviewer received a complimentary copy of the DVD to review.
Labels: Movie Reviews-ChickFlicks
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