This is what happens when you produce a vanity project for someone who hasn't quite graduated to B-movie star yet. Nothing against Jessica Alba; she's cute, she can dance okay, and she was pretty good on that FOX sci-fi show a few years ago. (No, not MANTIS. Or Strange Luck. Or VR-5. Or Millennium. Or even Tru Calling.) But her performance in Honey reminded me of a singer trying to act -- and Alba, as far as I know, isn't a singer.
Continue reading: Honey Review
Our protagonist is the restaurant's bartender, Chris Calloway (Adrien Brody - Summer of Sam, Six Ways to Sunday), a struggling playwright weaving his real life problems into his first play -- a work in progress that he can't seem to finish. When he meets the newest waitress Jeanine (Elise Neal - Mission to Mars) and they hit it off, he's faced with his second interracial relationship (the first being Lauryn Hill, who we see mostly as a picture on the refrigerator). Chris can't figure out why he likes black women so much, especially after his Italian father raised him to be a bigot. This dilemma is portrayed in his unfinished play, which is the story of a white man that can't deal with the external pressures of having a black girlfriend, even though he's madly in love. As he tries to make sense of his feelings, he gets caught up in the past when his ex (Hill) shows up at a friend's wedding. Because his relationship with her ended on such a bizarre note, he can't put it behind him, which prevents him from devoting his heart to Jeanine, and finally, thwarts him from finishing the play. Whew!
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Well, now telemarketers sell papes, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to see a movie about that. Especially if they were singing all the time. But back in 1899, when Joseph Pulitzer (played by Robert Duvall) and William Randolph Hearst raised newspaper prices, that meant the newsies had to pay more for their copies, and they couldn't pass that along to the consumer. So the newsies organized a union and went on strike. And the strike failed.
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In the screwball honeymoon-gone-wrong comedy "Just Married," giddy-in-love newlyweds Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher are simply too exhausted for sex on their wedding night. Then the next day, a series of mishaps derails their attempt to join the "mile-high club" on their flight to Europe.
There's no nookie that night in their five-star castle-hotel either, because they get 86-ed for blowing out the electrical system by forcing the plug of an American sex toy into a European socket. And the next night in a Venice flop house the mood is spoiled by cockroaches.
Starting to sense a pattern?
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Written by a man (Kwyn Bader) who has convinced himself he knows what women want, "Loving Jezebel" is a film about a sensitive-guy lady-killer with a bad habit of coveting women who are spoken for.
After a prologue in which our hero is freeze-framed while jumping out a window to escape an angry and armed jealous husband, Theodorus (Hill Harper) laments in voice-over about how it all started in kindergarten with a girl named Nicky Noodleman.
In a two-reel run through high school and college (rife with amped-up '80s and first-sex clichés), Theo comes off like a whiney puppy dog type, actually begging for dates and -- here's where the picture's credibility goes straight out the window -- getting girls to say "yes" this way. See, they all have insensitive boyfriends and he's so tender, blah, blah, blah.
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Somehow the people at Universal Pictures got it into their heads that easy-on-the-eyes, thin-on-talent Jessica Alba (star of Fox's short-lived "Dark Angel") should be a movie star.
So apparently a room full of monkeys was recruited to write "Honey," a laughable follow-your-dreams disaster in which the actress plays a sprightly, adorably indomitable, J.Lo-inspired babe from the Bronx who becomes a music-video dance choreographer, turns down a director's demand for sex, gets black-listed, then realizes what's really important in life is opening a neighborhood dance studio for street kids.
Trite and graceless, it's supposed to be the story of the girl's struggle to make it in showbiz, but no sooner does she point at a TV and say, "Check it. That's what I'm talkin' about. I should be dancing in videos like this!" than a video director (David Moscow) sees her shaking her stuff in a club and offers her a job.
Continue reading: Honey Review