Beauty Shop

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Andie Macdowell, Alfie Woodard
Director: Billie Woodruff

Cinema seems to be copying trends from television more and more, just like BUFFY spawned ANGEL, DAREDEVIL spawned the highly anticipated but poorly received ELEKTRA and now the very successful BARBERSHOP films have given birth to BEAUTY SHOP.

If you saw BARBERSHOP 2 then you ought to remember Gina (Queen Latifah), she is the heroine of this urban tale. An above average hairdresser, she works for a conceited and extremely camp hair salon owner called Jorge fabulously played by Kevin Bacon. Gina only contends with her boss’ belittling behavior because she needs the regular cash flow to pay for her daughter’s private school. Given the opportunity she would much rather open up her own place. Well, opportunity knocks at her door in the form of an argument with Jorge over her decision to let the shampoo girl, cutely played by Alicia Silverstone, actually set a customer’s hair. Gina quits and somehow manages to set up shop, but it proves to be a much hairier ride than she expected.

The direction from Billie Woodruff is very straightforward. The film is kept simple with some average drama and some genuinely hilarious moments, but the main difference with this one, from say BARBERSHOP, is the amount of big names in the cast with cameos. The stellar cast includes Andie Macdowell, Mena Suvari, Alicia Silverstone, Djimon Hounsou, but hats off to Kevin Bacon with his extremely amusing performance as an apparently European and very gay salon owner, also to Alfre Woodard as she gives the movie plenty of soul. Queen Latifah easily drives the movie along with her portrayal of a ambitious woman and dedicated mother. Bryce Wilson who recently popped up in another hair based tale HAIR SHOW, does a hilarious job as an ex-con who keeps you guessing about his sexuality until a very sexually charged dance scene with the very flexible Alicia Silverstone.

Okay so it’s a popcorn movie but you should all be reassured that even though it is aimed directly at females it is still sufficiently entertaining to please both sexes. It gives what is expected of it and it unashamedly plays to its target audience. The guys had BARBERSHOP and now the ladies have BEAUTY SHOP.

4 out of 6 stars

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