Review Date: March 07, 2001
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Producers: Sydney Pollack, William Horberg
A renowned British hairdressing competition is coming to a small town and the local barber is iffy about hopping aboard. That is, until his son and ex-wife get together and convince the man to join. And for kicks, his old hairdressing nemesis is also entered into the tournament. Sounds kooky, right? Well, his ex-wife is dying of cancer and she left him for another woman a few years back. Have a blast!
It seems as though every other year, the Brits slap a cute, quirky, small town comedy into our theatres and into our hearts and as that same time of year rolls around again this year, well...this movie is definitely not it! Predictable, highly uneven, filled with too much drama and not enough humor, this unfortunate attempt at capturing a small town's "obsession" with a quirky British hair-styling competition, doesn't deliver much on any front. The film lacks any real emotional narrative drive, falls flat on way too many supposed jokes (although I couldn't really tell if they were supposed to be funny sometimes, but I think colored sheep are supposed to be, right?), has a very boring soundtrack featuring tunes decades old and just seemed about 15 years past its prime. The only semi-redeeming quality of the film is its actors, but even this eccentric bunch couldn't save this oddly fashioned movie screenplay. Here's a film which tries to mix a woman dying of cancer, a quirky hair contest, a lesbian couple dealing with past infidelities and a teen romance all in one big pot, but none of it seems sincere, interesting or fresh. In fact, there really isn't one thing in this movie that isn't easily forecast about three scenes before it happens.
And to top that off, most of the characters are just plain boring. It isn't bad enough that the film hasn't properly characterized the folks in the movie for us to care about, but couldn't they at least have made them more interesting? There's no panache here...zero! They should've taken some lessons from all of the fun characters designed for a similar type of film named BEST OF SHOW from last year. I mean c'mon, sure I was impressed by Josh Hartnett's accent (although I have no idea if it was locally accurate or not-"Mum!"), but couldn't the kid also been given an actual personality to boot? (mind you, his "bedhair" remained intact) Or how about giving Alan Rickman more to do than just stare at the screen and feel sorry for himself? And is Rachael Leigh Cook ever going to develop into anything more than an adorable little face on the big screen? I sure hope so. In the end, the film falters the most in its inability to effectively balance its humor and drama, and ends up being too emotional when it shouldn't be, and not funny enough, when it should be. The best thing for this film would have been for it to be released as a straight-out comedy or a straight-out drama, but this shot in the dark was definitely not the way to go. Even a shot of Heidi Klum's bush couldn't save this puppy (and I ain't kidding about that!).
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian