Australian Council on Children and the Media

Honey

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Short takes

Not recommended to under 8, PG to 13 (Lang. Themes.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Honey
  • a review of Honey completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 January 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to its content this movie is not suitable for children under 8.
Children aged 8-13 Would need parental guidance to see this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Some children in this age bracket could still need some parental guidance with this movie.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Honey
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Low level coarse language, Mature themes
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Honey Daniels is a young African American woman who teaches Hip Hop to the ‘hood kids’ during the day at a local youth centre and is a bartender by night. She aspires to dance in a music video clip and goes to many auditions to try out but without luck. Her best friend Gina is a constant source of encouragement to her whereas her mother would prefer her to get out and see the world and maybe teach ballet. As it happens, Michael Ellis, a successful video producer, spots Honey one night dancing in the nightclub and invites her to come to his studios to audition. Honey is an immediate success and goes on to replace the choreographer.

While she was teaching at the youth centre, Honey befriended a couple of young lads, Raymond and Benny, who love to dance. Unfortunately life in the Bronx is often difficult and Benny is forced into drug dealing by his older brother. Benny is arrested and put into juvenile detention. Honey decides it would be good for Benny to dance in a video clip and persuades him to be involved, along with all of the other kids from the youth centre. At first Michael is agreeable to Honey’s idea, but when she rejects his sexual advances, he cancels the video, much to the disappointment of the kids. Not to be dissuaded, Honey decides to get the kids to perform for a benefit concert to raise funds for a new youth centre.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a little violence in this movie including:

  • Honey and Katrina (a nightclub dancer) push and shove each other.
  • Katrina and Gina get into a fight.
  • One of the boys punches another in the stomach.
  • Benny’s older brother Bebe threatens Honey menacingly.
  • Michael tries to force Honey and she slaps him hard across the face.
  • Benny and his mates stand over a young lad on the train to steal his shoes (stealing the shoes is not actually shown).

 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group would be frightened by the above mentioned scenes and also the following:

  • Life in the Bronx is very rough; neglected kids and drug dealing are shown.
  • Raymond’s family is very dysfunctional, with all of them yelling and screaming at each other. His mother is very angry.

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to find the above material scary or disturbing.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group could still be frightened by some of the scenes in this movie particularly Bebe threatening Honey and Michael Ellis trying to force himself onto Honey.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Some children in this age group could still be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Sexual references

There are a few sexual references in this movie including:

  • Gina warns Honey that Michael is “trying to dip his fingers in the Honey jar” and that he’s only trying to “get some boody”.
  • Michael expects Honey to be grateful for getting her into the business and to repay that gratitude with sexual favours.
  • Honey and Michael go to a gay bar where there are transvestites dancing.

 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no actual nudity or sexual activity; however:

  • There are many revealing and skimpy outfits.
  • In one scene Gina shakes her boobs
  • The Hip Hop dancing is very provocative
  • Michael tries to force himself onto Honey but he doesn’t get very far.

 

Use of substances

There is a lot of drinking in the nightclub.
There are a couple of drug deals shown with the consequence that Benny is arrested.

Coarse language

There is a fair amount of coarse language including the following:

  • bitch
  • arse
  • piss
  • shit

 

In a nutshell

The take home message would be that it is possible for children from a disadvantaged background to make better choices for themselves and not to continue in the expected negative downward spiral.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • kids making good choices about their lives
  • friendship
  • forgiveness
  • girls don’t need to trade sex for ambition

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • aggression
  • bullying and intimidation
  • name calling
  • men expect girls to return sex for favours

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