‘Beauty Shop’? Drop out before it drags you in
I hate going to the beauty shop, so what made me think I might like watching a movie about it, I don’t know.Queen Latifah shines as Gina Norris, an unappreciated hairdresser who quits her job to open her own shop in the ghetto. But no matter how strong Latifah’s charm and beauty is, it can’t carry “Beauty Shop.”The first half of the movie drags. It not only sets up, but also pounds into audiences’ heads: Gina dreams of opening a shop, and Jorge (Kevin Bacon) is a bad boss. The reason “foreshadowing” contains the word “shadow” is because writers are supposed to be subtle about the storytelling method.Then we see Gina struggle to buy a shop, which is too mundane to warrant the amount of time the movie dedicates to it. Then we see her clean up her new shop; luckily, directors break into a hip-hop montage for this one.Once hairdressers with attitude start doin’ their thang in the shop, the movie gains momentum, but it never hits its stride.First of all, the large number of characters in the movie forces directors to rely on stereotypes. While it’s interesting to watch Bacon re-emerge from his clean, vivacious “Footloose” role to a flamboyant character with a bad accent and stringy, highlighted hair, it’s not enough. Likewise, the perverted neighborhood candy boy is kind of cute in a disturbing way; the reformed drug dealer who turns hairdresser is hot; the white girl (Alicia Silverstone) is adorably hip; the man upstairs is alluring; but they all seem like cartoon characters with cut-and-paste dialogue.”Beauty Shop” could’ve been a wildly funny feel-good movie, but the characters don’t ring true. It employs a similar premise as “Clerks,” a cult classic, but “Clerks” pairs fresh, witty dialogue with unique characters.While both movies rely on sexual references to spark humor, “Clerks” digs deeper with frank conversations rather than gratuitous ones. And in “Clerks,” we relate to and care about the characters. In “Beauty Shop,” I care about Gina because Latifah cares enough to play her (not that I’m a big Queen Latifah fan, but I do like her in movies).”Beauty Shop” just remains too superficial for me. But then again, what do I know – I’m one of those people who only step foot into a beauty shop twice a year. So maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe not.
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