Review by Steve Rhodes|
1½ stars out of 4
BLOW DRY, which the ads loudly proclaim to be by the writer of THE FULL
MONTY, has all the charm of a fifth generation copy of a tape of THE FULL
MONTY, which is what it feels like. Writer Simon Beaufoy recycles all of
the elements of the plot that hit the jackpot for him last time. The story
is set in a cheesy working-class English town. There's a tragedy to be
coped with -- this time it's cancer rather than unemployment. And, of
course, he ends it in one of his signature surprises. It's too bad that
this time he forgot to make it funny. To be fair, much of the blame has to
go to director Paddy Breathnach, who wasn't associated with THE FULL MONTY
or anything else you've ever heard of before BLOW DRY.
Set in Keighley, England, the movie is about the National Hairdressing
Championship, a veritable hair Olympics. The cocksure Ray Roberts (Bill
Nighy) and his assistant Louis (Hugh Bonneville) are competing for their
third straight title. Cheating his way to the top again, Ray fears only
local barber Phil Allen (Alan Rickman) and his assistant, Phil's son Brian
(Josh Hartnett). Phil quit the hairdressing competition 10 years ago when
his wife, Shelley (Natasha Richardson) left him to live with Sandra (Rachel
Griffiths), his hairdressing model. The script does little with this
lesbian subtheme other than introduce it.
Brian makes extra money by working the graveyard shift, cutting hair at the
local mortuary. Brian takes Ray's daughter and model, Christina (Rachael
Leigh Cook), there one night on a date. Although the movie's cast is good,
their acting isn't much more lively than the corpses lying around waiting to
have their hair done. Actually, the whole movie is about as dead as these
stiffs. I didn't think Alan Rickman (GALAXY QUEST) could give a performance
this lifeless, but director Breathnach does the impossible, turning the
living into the dead. Maybe he has a future in horror flicks.
BLOW DRY runs 1:45. It is rated R for some language and brief nudity and
would be acceptable for most teenagers.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes