We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Hey, kids! Let's rent the old barn and put on a show!
These words are so familiar that surely I must have actually heard them in a movie at one time or another, but I confess I cannot remember when. They summarize one of the most persistent of all movie formulas, pioneered in the days of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, reborn in the era of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and now finding new life with Jessica Alba and Lil' Romeo.
If I were to tell you (a) that Jessica Alba works as a dance instructor in a neighborhood center, (b) that she discovers Lil' Romeo and his friends break-dancing in the streets, (c) that city inspectors shut down the center because of leaks and unsafe construction, and (d) that there is an empty church nearby that could be borrowed for an evening, what would you say the chances are that Alba will hit on the nation of using the old church to put on a show with the kids, to raise money for the community center?
It's amazing that this formula still survives, but it does, right down to the crucial moment when the doors open and her parents (who disapprove of her hip-hop dance style) join the audience, are moved by the performance, and have maybe a few tears in their eyes, having seen the light and understood their daughter's dream at last. "Honey" crosses this formula with another: The talented girl from the neighborhood who is discovered by a big producer, who lures her away from her old friends. Will she be dazzled by the bright lights and the big city? Will the slickster's limousine and champagne lifestyle make her forget the honest and dependable neighborhood barber who truly loves her? Will she let the kids down?