Entertainment

These 20 Kinks Are What Made The Movie ‘Honey’ So Bad It Was Good

In 2003, American cinema was forever changed with the premiere of a movie that transformed the perception of films revolving around the ancient art of dance. That film was “Honey.” Starring Jessica Alba, the film revolved around an aspiring, ethnically ambiguous young dancer in New York named Honey Daniels. Honey wanted to be a dancer and choreographer for the biggest stars in hip-hop and R&B. But she had some obstacles along the way. In between teaching hip-hop at the “cennah” and meeting a cute barber played by Mekhi Pfifer, she remained true to herself.

Here are 20 more things about the greatest movie ever made.

1. The role of Honey wasn’t meant for Jessica Alba.

The starring role of Honey was actually given to R&B icon Aaliyah, and was written with her in mind to play the titular role. She had accepted the role and was set to shoot. Then she tragically died before filming was set to begin. Producers and writers had to retool the movie a bit and find a new lead. Enter Jessica Alba.

2. Romeo had a growth spurt.

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Romeo, aka Lil Romeo and Romeo Miller aka the son of Master P, played Benny, a kid who was heading into a life of crime. During filming, puberty hit Romeo hard. He grew two inches and his voice deepened. In a scene where Benny and his little brother Raymond go to one of Honey’s dance classes, Romeo had to stand with his legs far apart so he looked shorter. He had grown so much he was as tall as Jessica Alba.

3. Honey has a dog.

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While Honey’s dog doesn’t play a pivotal role in the film, and one has to ask themselves who the hell is walking the poor pupper while Honey was off dancing her heart out, the casting director didn’t have to worry about going through hundreds of dog auditions until they found the right dog. Alba’s dog Sid stepped in to fill the role.

4. Getting dance ready.

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In order to prepare for the role, Alba took six hours of dance classes every day for three months. She worked hard on ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, training to make sure she clapped on the right beat. And it worked! Sort of. Like she was able to handle some of the dancing, but there were some doubles. Listen, it’s hard clapping on beat for some people.

5. Praise Laurieann.

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The movie is loosely based on the life of famed choreographer Laurieann Gibson, who you may remember as the very intense instructor in MTV’s “Making The Band.” She was also a Fly Girl back in the day. Anyway, Laurieann also appears in “Honey” as a rival choreographer, bringing her trademark intense energy to the screen. While she played Katrina in the original “Honey,” her name was changed to Rebecca for the sequel. It makes no sense.

6. While the movie is set in New York, it was actually filmed in Toronto.

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Shout out to the city of Toronto for stepping in for NYC, bringing its gritty big city vibes to the screen when New York couldn’t do it.

7. The movie’s director has some iconic credits.

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“Honey” was directed by Billie Woodruff, who made a name for himself directing major music videos for some of the biggest stars in music. That insane all-white video for Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart”? You can thank Billie for that. Her sultry AF video for “You’re Making Me High”? Yeah he did that. Dru Hill’s “In My Bed”? Yup. Fat Joe and Ashanti’s “What’s Luv”? I think you get where I’m going here. “Honey” was his big screen debut and he brought that same music video energy to the film.

8. Don’t go to this movie for A+ continuity.

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Sometimes the continuity in this movie isn’t the best. When Honey is at a benefit event she hosted, she is initially wearing a denim mini. But then, when she stands up on the stage, she seems to have changed into jeans. Also, at the same event, when she’s setting up the background sign seems to have changed. It doesn’t ruin the movie but it’s pretty silly.

9. Jessica Alba’s New York accent.

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It’s….not good. In fact, it’s pretty cringe. The prime example of this is her pronunciation of the word “center.” As she repeatedly mentions to folks she meets along her journey, she teaches hip-hop at the cennah. The cennah. She also has a tough time saying her best friend Gin’as name. Gayna. It’s clear that urban flavor doesn’t come naturally to Alba. She tries though. You gotta give her that.

10. The cameos!

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Since the movie revolves around the hip-hop world in New York City, Honey meets some pretty big stars and has some major opportunities come up with major artists. She ends up working with the likes of Jadakiss, Tweet, Ginuwine, and even garners the attention of Missy Elliot. She’s that good!

11. Jessica Alba is supposed to be black.

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Since the film is based on the life of Lauriann Gibson, who is black, and was set to star Aaliyah, who was also black, the character was written with a black woman in mind. When Jessica Alba filled in, filmmakers never addressed her ethnicity or race in the film. Instead, they said the character is “part-black.” It was clunky at best, and offensive to Afro-Latinos and non-Latino black people. Especially as we see Alba struggle with the character’s portrayal.

12. The reviews were not great.

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When “Honey” hit theaters, the reviews were pretty critical. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 21% score based on the reviews of 115 film critics. Metacritic gave it a 37 out of 100. Even so it opened at #2 at the box office and has grossed $62.2 million worldwide. That’s enough to open up hundreds of cennahs where Honey can teach hip-hop.

13. The movie has been referenced elsewhere.

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Despite the bad reviews, “Honey” still had a cultural impact. In “Degrassi: The Next Generation” the character Manny mentions that it’s his favorite movie. And in the sitcom “Parks and Recreation” Leslie Knope mentions Honey in a press conference. And in my conversations, Honey is referenced at least three times out of 10.

14. Jessica Alba’s inspiration.

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During the filming of the movie, Alba wanted to get in the mind frame to help her connect with her character. She listened to lots of Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige and looked to some of her favorite dance films, including “Fame,” “Flash Dance,” and “Dirty Dancing.”

15. Honey choreographed “Honey.”

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All the choreography done in the movie, which was extensive, wasn’t done by Honey Daniels as performed by Jessica Alba. But it was put together by Laurieann Gibson who inspired the character Honey Daniels. In all the scenes where Honey is choreographing for music videos, it was all Laurieann. Put some respect on her.

16. A bit of Dutch courage.

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During the sections of the movie where Jessica has to perform some impressive dance, Alba got understandably nervous. So the director did what most of our best friends do when we’re feeling nervous. He poured her a drink. Woodruff specifically gave Alba some Hennessy to calm her nerves and get her movin’.

17. Jessica Alba was just 22 during the filming.

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And Mekhi Phifer was only 29. Why did I think they were so grown up when I watched? Jessica wasn’t that much older than me!

18. Jessica’s brother celebrated in an embarrassing way.

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Apparently, at the wrap party, Jessica brought her brother with her to celebrate. The poor guy got a little too drunk and decided to approach Diddy to show him, love. In doing so he also rapped all the lyrics to one of his songs right to his face. That story has to be legendary amongst the members of the Alba family. I’m embarrassed just reading it, but also think it’s adorable.

19. She helped Lil Romeo on set.

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While on set, Jessica helped Lil Romeo learn his lines. They’d work on them together, which was a big help for Romeo since it was hid first big movie.

20. There has been two “Honey” movies since the original.

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In the second one, the main character lives with Honey’s mom. In the third, the main character was a student of Honey’s. They each find strength and growth through the power of dance, as one can expect.

While “Honey” is not an Oscar-worthy film, it’s one of those guilty pleasures no one should feel guilty about loving. It’s a good time and has the perfect amount of cheesiness that make it a classic.


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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

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These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

With young Latinxs reclaiming the bruja identity, the demand for access to novenas, herbs and other specially crafted ritual tools has grown tremendously. Luckily, these Latinx-owned online botanicas have made it easy for brujas, or anyone who wants to dive deeper into the practice, to get their hands on the goods. Whether you’re looking to conjure up more cash flow or secure some extra protection from those pesky mal de ojos, these shops have the magia you need.

1. The Flowerchild Bruja

You know you’ve received some real tesoro when you open your delivery and see the holographic cellophane. Unmistakable and unique products are what make The Flowerchild Bruja’s shop un cielo de flores. Garden Smudge Sticks adorned with colorful flowers and loose herbs packaged in clear hearts make this online botanica a must-visit if you’re looking to manifest more love and beauty into your life.

2. Brooklyn Brujeria

No forlorn-looking saints and pale stricken Marys here! Brookyn Brujeria offers a fresh and modern take on the classic bruja necessity of novena candles. At $10 a candle, you can enhance the vibrations and style of your space without blowing all your chavo. With intentions like Boss Bitch and F*ck Outta Here, these ain’t your abuelitas’ novenas.

3. The Hoodwitch Store

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Thank you for all of your love & support to those who have been readers and customers of @thehoodwitch over the years. ♥️You know truly how hard I work and that this is my livelihood and culture. Visual art and magic ARE my life and practice. Not a peach flavored “turquoise” glitter drink. My magic is in my blood, my magic is in my ability to bring life to my visions, it is creation & destruction. Over the last 6 years, I have been so honored and lucky to be featured in some of the largest media publications internationally not limited to Instagram. This is bigger than that and the creative team for Starbucks knew that. I have personally worked on consulting large companies in their design concepts this work comes naturally to me. “So what’s the big fuss?” My personal style has become synonymous with the visual aesthetic of my brand. No, I absolutely did not “invent” the crystal balls nor acrylic nails but What I created was a space for myself along with other POC to feel represented and have visual imagery that was representative of us. The colorful candles of my local botanicas, my gold jewelry, and my long nails clutching my crystals are certainly not “new” but to see them presented in a manner that I shared visually in this space was. Katherine de Vos Devine @devosdevine is a lawyer and art historian who wrote a powerful and insightful look as to what exactly is happening with this situation and we are sharing it in our story today because more than anything she truly gives the full tea of the situation. I can strip away the crystal balls, the nail art, and delete all of my beautifully curated photos but I will always be me, I will always be my grandmother’s voices and wisdom. I will create, and I will always know my value and my worth. I trust and believe that my ancestors and my guides are looking after me. These giants may have the money to bully artists, creatives, and small business but we know the truth and absolutely must not allow it. As a small business owner, I appreciate you standing with us in this uphill journey and even if it goes nowhere, at the end of the day I can laugh to myself knowing that Starbucks made a drink inspired by HW 🔮

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If you’re in the market for an obsidian scrying mirror, unique tarot decks or nail polish for your mystic manos, then The Hoodwitch Store is your one-stop bruja shop. Be sure to also check out the Bruja Bookshop tab, where you’ll find vintage, one-of-a-kind libros to up your witchy wisdom. The shop offers some rare finds en español as well. However, make sure you stay up to date on the latest inventory. These goods sell out fast!

4. House of Intuition

If you live in LA, you’ve most likely heard of House of Intuition. With four brick and mortar stores throughout the area, plus an online shop, it’s probably a wise investment to grab one of their “Success” intention candles. Their beautifully colored novenas aren’t the only reason to check out the shop, though. Seriously, this casa is staked with everything from crystals skulls, cauldrons and wands to a line called “Hair Mystics” featuring crystal-infused hair mists. You’ll be glad your intuition led you here.  

5. Lunar Magic Shop

Lunar Magic Shop is the super affordable and super thoughtful shop with some of our favorite bruja apparel. You will for sure want to grab the “My Mom Will Hex You” tee for the little one in your life or the “I Am My Own Sacred Place” one for yourself. While you’re at it, you might as well secure the “Motherhood”and “Student” crystal kit bags. This small shop definitely has the whole family’s brujeria needs in mind.

6. Curandera Press

While this shop is currently taking a small hiatus, they will re-launch on August 1. This gives us time to save up for a big vela haul. We could all use some divine intervention with lazy lovers and bad hair days, right? With Curandera Press’ “No Mas Amante Perezoso” and “Good Hair Day” velas, your prayers are answered. We’re excited to see what intentions they roll out next.

Read: In These Trying Times, Boricua Bruja Emilia Ortiz Provides A Digital Space For Healing

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