from Film Forum, 12/13/03
Best known for making music videos, director Billie Woodruff tries his hand at big screen moviemaking with Honey. Honey Daniels is a 22-year-old who lives in the inner city, works two jobs, and teaches dancing at a community center in hopes of getting noticed by a music video producer. She's such a nice girl though, helping kids discover that dancing is better than drugs—surely success will find her before the end of this predictable, dance-heavy movie.
Loren Eaton (Crosswalk) says, "When virtue is the center of … Woodruff's cinematic focus, Honey truly is sweet. Responsibility. Graciousness. Selflessness. Determination. All these get ample screen time. Honey, however, stumbles hard with its fixation on flesh and booze. Gyrating dance moves and freely flowing liquor will leave audiences with a bitter taste in their mouths once the lights come up."
Anne Navarro (Catholic News Service) laments, "Honey is no sweet treat. The tired rags-to-riches story is held together with Scotch tape. The film feels more like an excuse to show off hair and makeup and the latest skin-tight, skimpy fashions than a sincere effort to tell a compelling story. None of the various subplots penetrates beyond the surface."
But Tom Snyder (Movieguide) calls it "an uplifting, moral tale that will inspire many viewers. It's great to see a movie like this have something more on its mind than just getting fame and fortune and landing the boy. The results of Honey's compassion for the youth in her neighborhood may even bring a tear or two."
Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) calls it "a perfectly predictable, somewhat shallow story. The messages at the heart of Honey are as sweet as its title. Do what you love. Serve others and the community in which you live. Don't compromise your ideals or your integrity in order to get ahead. Don't judge success by how much money you earn. Let your life make a difference in the lives of others … especially in those that you love."
Mainstream critics might agree with those life-lessons. But they have very little patience with the movie.