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Beauty Shop (2005)

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

What is it with Hollywood these days and hairdressers? In the last few years we’ve had Barbershop, Barbershop 2, ‘Nora’s Hair Salon’, ‘Hair Show’ and now – arriving with all the welcome originality of one of those obnoxious fashion mullets sported by footballers and needle-brained wide-boys – it’s time for ‘Beauty Shop’. When, oh when, will this knackered premise be given the snip?

This one is a vague add-on to Ice Cube’s ‘Barbershop’ franchise, starring Queen Latifah as the wobble-bottomed Gina character she played briefly in Barbershop 2. Since last we saw her, she’s moved from Chicago to Atlanta in order to help her daughter (Paige Hurd) advance a fledging classical music career, and when the film kicks-off she’s working at a pretentious salon for camp European scissorsmith Jorge (Kevin Bacon, proving himself to be a good sport by taking on what is basically a one-joke role). It’s not long, though, before she’s walking out on the slimy Jorge and setting up a place of her own, attracting some predictably loud-mouthed staff and customers along the way.

Though Latifah’s likable enthusiasm in front of the camera is always infectious to a certain degree, she’s picked a dud this time round and I can’t help but feel that she’s reached the stage of her acting career where she should be looking to try something a little different. Here, her character is uninteresting, she’s shoe-horned into an out-of-nowhere romance with upstairs electrician Joe (Djimon Hounsou), and at times she even looks a little embarrassed by a screenplay which tries to pass off outright racism as good humour. The laughs, as you might have guessed, are few and far between.

It's Got: Kevin Bacon proving yet again that there’s no mask he cannot wear. He’s a genius. Bacon. Is. The. Man.

It Needs: Coffee while you wait, madam?


Not even Queen Latifah’s ever-bubbly presence can prevent this from turning into one seriously bad hair day.