I guess with all the dough that the first two Barbershop movies made, it shouldn’t be surprising that that the powers that be would request a more female-centric version and call it Beauty Shop. While not completely awful, this fun movie is really unoriginal in every sense of the word. Queen Latifah plays Gina, a hair stylist who is pushed to far by her jerk boss Jorge (played by a desperately trying to be current Kevin Bacon). So Gina opens up her new shop and guess what? Things are tough at first but eventually she triumphs over all the obstacles standing in her way.
Okay, this movie has a good heart, it means well and it really tries to be funny. Some of the time it is, but I just found that overall there really wasn’t much too this film. Other then the obligatory scenes where we see Gina with her family, Beauty Shop seems to be going out of it’s way all the time to be topical. To reference things in the present while only serving to date itself. As usual, white people are fodder for most of the humor, yet this movie hedges it’s bets by making one of the white people someone who’s “tight” with Gina.
I guess my general feeling is that in a day and age when, depending on your ethnicity, you have to watch what you say, it would seem that we would have learned a long time ago that two wrongs don’t make a right. I guess this is why Beauty Shop, even for all it’s positive spins, doesn’t make the situation any prettier.
”Beauty Shop: Inside the Style” Featurette
This is a pretty paint by numbers featurette in which various characters talk about the movie as well as the other characters. As these things are “puff” pieces, nobody is really going to say anything other then glowing things about any of the characters. I was really happy to hear from Kevin Bacon just because I almost can’t believe that he’s in this movie. Not that he’s the greatest actor in the world, but I think he’s really good and I just wonder what he is doing here. Then again he is probably someone who considers themselves an artist and thinks they should be able to inhabit any role.
This is a pretty quick compilation of bloopers and jokes that occurred on the set while making Beauty Shop. While I didn’t really find any one of them any funnier then the other, I did think that these were at least mildly amusing. One thing that surprised me was that I don’t recall a lot of laughter when the gags would happen. Sure, the actors would laugh but other people on the set, the crew and the technicians were not heard from. Overall, this reel adds a little something to this movie, but if it had been left off the disk I doubt I would have missed it.
Selected Scenes Audio Commentary by Director Billie Woodruff
This commentary sucks. Sorry to put it so bluntly but listening to Mr. Woodruff is like watching paint peel. I mean come on man, you have directed a feature film and you sound timid and scared. Pick up the pace. Put more gusto in it. I demand a re-recording!! Okay, that’s never going to happen but at least promise me this guy is never going to do another one of these commentaries. As this is “scene specific” (thank the good Lord!), you can skip around and hear him talk about the movie’s opening, Kevin Bacon, Andie MacDowell, etc... .
You can screen this movie in the Full Screen DVD format or the 16x9 - 2.35:1 Widescreen DVD format. Lets talk turkey okay? This movie is all about the look but not in a way that the look is part of the story. It’s a star vehicle. A way to showcase all of these actors in an ensemble piece, with the Queen as the anchor on the ship. If the scene is inside it’s brightly lit. If the scene is outside it’s lit so that everything is pretty. A movie like this, while dialogue heavy, is what I like to call a science project. Everything about it is pre planned. Nothing is left to chance and everything that has been put on the screen has been done so to serve the images and the actors. I put them in that order simply because if the actors don’t hit their marks, the images don’t look right and they have to do it again. It makes no difference how good the take was. Overall, this movie looks how a star vehicle should look.
Dolby Digital. What would a film like this be without a soundtrack to tie it to? While the music in this movie for the most part just isn’t my cup of tea, I don’t think that that is why I don’t really think too highly of the sound. There just isn’t anything too it. I know what kind of movie this is, I know that you can’t confuse the viewers (I mean they aren’t trying to make The Conversation, right?) but what is there really to say about a sound design that offers us nothing? I was able to hear everything the actors said just fine, the music for all the scenes was very appropriate and that is really all that matters right?
Queen Latifah stares at us in a purple dress, holding a hair dryer and blowing on it slyly. They have placed her very prominently on this cover and why shouldn’t they? This is her movie, right? The back features one giant picture (that looks very Photoshopped) of all the main characters in the cast. Okay, I will just say it, I cannot stand the way Kevin Bacon looks and is looking at me in this picture. There is a description of the film, an extras listing, a cast list and some minor technical specs. Look, this movie isn’t meant to be anything more then a good time, and in that regard, for more people then not, it will certainly serve that purpose.
Okay, you pretty much know how I feel about Beauty Shop. I think it’s an okay movie, with an unoriginal story that just seems to be going through the motions. None of the actors are that bad but at the same time none of them are that good. So let me get to the meat of my final thoughts...
Kevin Bacon... WHY ARE YOU IN THIS MOVIE?
You have been one of my favorite actor’s for the longest time. You are one of the best that America has to offer. Why are you taking such bad roles as of late? Other then Mystic River, I don’t think I have seen you in a good movie since Sleepers and that was 9 years ago!!! I know you have it in you, you’re very talented, stop doing that band with your brother and just focus on doing quality roles like that of Fenwick in Diner.
Beauty Shop was released June 2, 2005.