Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Chris Release date: March 30, 2005 Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
I was looking forward to this spin-off female version of Ice Cube’s Barbershop. I expected breezy chatting and silly gossip among the girls while getting done up; while there is a lot of that, not enough of it is funny.
Queen Latifah stars as Gina, a hair stylist at Jorge’s (played by Kevin Bacon, who hams it up for all it’s worth), a posh downtown Atlanta salon.
She quits after a fight with Jorge and takes out a loan to buy a run-down place in the neighborhood. With a lot of elbow grease from her young daughter, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, the salon opens for business.
Gina’s place is staffed by a few leftover hairdressers (Alfre Woodard plays one of them) and a lone white beginner (Alicia Silverstone) who tries desperately to fit in with the other women.
Dropping by for a new do are a couple of Jorge’s rich former clients (Andie MacDowell and Mena Suvari), while a woman selling catfish and collard greens from a push cart and a kid taking close-up pictures of women’s behinds as they pass in front of the salon add to the cast.
The shop is filled with chatter, raucous talk of big booties, breast implants, men and sassy put downs, with a female deejay blaring on the radio in the background.
Gina, a single mother, is more mother hen to her workers and clientele than boss. She offers up advice and on occasion goes after one of the girl’s boyfriends with a hot curling iron.
Latifah is more subdued here; she’s the one that acts the adult to all of the misbehaving going on around her. Her usual over-the-top personality is missing and along with it, some of the fun.