Directed by Bille Woodruff ("Honey").
Written by Kate Lanier and Norman Vance Jr.
Starring Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, and Kevin Bacon.
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 4/10/05
Before I begin, it should be noted--man, I
actually wanted to see "Beauty Shop."
After I left the theater, all I could think
was "Wow...can they make movies any worse?"
From start to finish, the Queen Latifah
spinoff "Beauty Shop"--based on a character she played in
"Barbershop 2"--was just a piece of
fucking shit! It wasn't funny (to me or to the fairly-packed
theater I was sitting in), it wasn't scripted well, it wasn't
well-acted and it wasn't...jeez, it wasn't really even a black
comedy, with about half the film featuring very-white big-name stars
that take away from the black feel of the original films.
Where do I even start? I don't have to
go over the plot, since you know from the billion-or-so TV ads that
it's about Queen's character Gina running her own beauty salon.
I do have to go over this: it's SUPPOSED to be a comedy, but why did
no one laugh for about the first 20 minutes? Hmm, maybe it's
because there is nothing funny about watching Kevin Bacon play a
Frenchie named Jorge, or about Gina's family, or about the little
kid that hangs out near the beauty salon that likes to shoot video
of hottie asses. This movie almost goes out of its way to not
be funny...was there no time to even give us one scene with some of
the characters from the "Barbershop" movies to make us laugh?
Was Cedric the Entertainer NOWHERE to be found to give us one quip
on Jesse Jackson? I'll admit--I thought the Catfish Lady was
funny. And, I did laugh when the only male beautician in the
shop, James (Bryce Wilson), broke out into song or started talking
about another man's shoes like he was the prototype for metrosexuals
Otherwise, the laughs were horrible.
So was the acting; Bacon has simply never been this bad in anything
he has ever done. EVER. Andie MacDowell? Horrible?
Even the Queen was bad at times, looking as if she had never acted
before in scenes where she is supposed to be slightly depressed, or
romantically confused, or questioning her daughter's motives.
I really feel like Queen is going to be great in a dramatic role
sooner or later; while I think she should never have been nominated
for an Oscar for
"Chicago", she's normally a reliable performer...but in "Beauty
Shop", it looks like she is really just going through the paces.
Speaking of the actors, is that Keshia
Knight Pulliam, aka Rudy from "The Cosby Show"????? I don't
think I have been this uncomfortable watching an actress since
watching Chloe Sevigny in "The Brown
Bunny"; I'm sorry, I don't care how old she is now, watching lil'
Rudy do anything remotely sexy freaks me out. Just does.
And, call me a bastard if you want to, but I just didn't buy that
Djimon Hounsou would ever fall for the Queen. Djimon could
have had any of the women in the shop, and she went for the Queen?
She doesn't even like his piano playing!!
And, even though the "Barbershop" films are
based around black good guys, black bad guys and black bystanders
(save for the token barber in the shop), "Beauty Shop" gets away
from that by playing whites against blacks at many turns throughout
the film. There's the MacDowell character, who doesn't seem to
get that her husband is cheating on her, getting counsel from black
women in the shop, as if none of her white friends would ever tell
her the same thing. There's the Silverstone character, the
token whitey on Gina's staff, that snatches away the only available
black man in the shop. And there's Mena Suvari as one of
Gina's old clients, who has to be berated for her fake breasts and
her lily-whiteness when she talks down to another black woman in the
shop. I would have been happier if they had left all of these
white angles out of the movie altogether, but then you have even
less to work with, which may be the biggest shocker of them all.
Ugh. This was bad, and alongside
"Diary of a Mad Black Woman", black comedies are starting to
make me not want to run out and support.
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard