The film “Beauty Shop” desperately tries to recreate the magic that the “Barbershop” series started just a few years ago.
Everything from the loveable yet streetwise main character to the ultra-talented token white person is mimicked in great detail. Unfortunately, the movie falls short of both the creative depth and the humor of the “Barbershop” films.
Queen Latifah returns to her role as “Gina” from “Barbershop 2.” In the film, Gina moves from Chicago to Atlanta so that her daughter can attend an upscale music school. This scenario is somewhat of a comical situation in itself considering the fact that there is no mention of Gina’s daughter in “Barbershop 2.”
Realizing that she cannot put up with the arrogance of her flamboyant boss, Jorge (Kevin Bacon), Gina quits her job as a stylist at a posh downtown salon. She manages to get a $30,000 loan from the bank so that she can open her own shop.
After realizing how expensive it would be to build her own salon, Gina decides to revitalize a rundown beauty shop and inherits an interesting group of stereotypes for employees.
From that point in the movie, you would expect for the plot to take off, but sadly it does not. Instead of interesting plot twists, or a heart warming story line, the movie seems to just flow with the motions for an hour and a half.
For some strange reason, the film’s creators chose to dedicate more time debating the sexual preferences of the beauty shop’s lone male stylist than they did evolving the storylines for any of the secondary characters. Characters who were two-dimensional in the first fifteen minutes of the film are almost as simple and basic at the end of the film.
Lynn for instance, played by Alicia Silverstone, is a simple-minded country girl from rural Georgia at the beginning of the film. By the end of the film, she is nothing more than a simple-minded country girl with a black boyfriend.
The movie is not all bad. It does have its fair share of humorous moments that succeeds in an occasional belly laugh.
The romantic relationship between Gina and her upstairs neighbor (Djimon Hounsou) achieves its goal of adding light-hearted flavor to both the movie and Latifah’s main character.
Cameo appearances from Lisa Raye, Kimora Lee-Simmons and Sheryl Underwood bring an extra amount of star appeal to the piece.
In the end, “Beauty Shop” could have been a great movie. It had all the ingredients to form a quality motion picture, but somewhere along the line, the idea got off track. What could have been something special turned into a watered-down female version of the original “Barbershop.”
Do not look for Queen Latifah to receive any academy award nominations from this film. “Beauty Shop” is a regrettable step backwards in her movie career.
In fact, “Beauty Shop” is a step backward for all involved, including Silverstone, Bacon, Alfre Woodward and even Kesha Knight-Pulliam, who hasn’t appeared in anything memorable since she played Rudy on the “Cosby Show.” These actors should just go ahead and scrap this from their rÃ©sumÃ©s.
Contact Anthony Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.