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Barbershop (2002)

Directed by:

Tim Story

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

If there's one thing I've spent the best part of my life waiting for, it's a feature length big screen version of classic Channel 4 sit-com “Desmonds”. Having grudgingly given up on that ever happening, I'm happy to settle for Barbershop.

This surprisingly charming, warm and up-beat comedy hardly takes us down the most original of avenues, but a sharply-written script and some enjoyable performances from the cast more than make up for that.

Ice Cube, surely hip-hop's finest thespian, takes on the role of Calvin, an ambitious hair-snipper struggling to make ends meet after taking over the family firm. Our scissor-happy hero lands himself in deep soapy bubble when a loan shark diddles him on a deal to buy out the family firm.

Meanwhile, his oblivious staff have got problems of their own. Ricky (Michael Ealy) is trying to stick to the straight-and-narrow after twice finding himself in the nick, Eddie (Cedric The Entertainer) has a major chip on his shoulder about various historical back icons, and someone keeps drinking Terri's (Eve's) apple juice. Difficult times indeed.

There's also a hilarious running subplot involving Anthony Anderson (one of the few good points of the abysmal Cradle 2 The Grave) as a bungling thief who's having very little success in breaking into a stolen ATM machine.

Despite teetering dangerously close to becoming a little sickening in its moralistic gushiness later on in the proceedings, the likable cast do a nice job of saving things by keeping the thick stream of humour pumping right through to the end.

It's Got: Original King of Comedy Cedric The Entertainer telling us that "OJ did it".

It Needs: A better name. "Curl up and dye" perhaps? Oh, just forget it.

Alternatives:

Empire Records, Smoke

Summary

A satirical, clever and engaging comedy, all done on the lowest of budgets – you see, it CAN be done!!

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