Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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JUNE 9, 2005

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I don't think films about specific cultural or racial stereotypes really work outside of the country they are from. For instance, the Wog Boy was a film about very specific cultural entity in Australia and so we, as Australians, can laugh at it. The same can be said about The Castle but when these films go overseas they may not translate well and hence may not appeal to the audience as they do here. The reverse can be said about films from other countries that come here, I think Beauty Shop is one of these films that does not translate to our culture too well.

In this spin off of Barbershop and Barbershop 2, Gina Norris (Queen Latifah) has moved from Chicago to Atlanta so her daughter can attend a prestigious music school, and she's made a name for herself at a posh salon with her cutting edge hairstyles. But when her egotistical boss, Jorge (Kevin Bacon), takes credit for her work, she leaves the salon with shampoo girl Lynn (Alicia Silverstone) in tow to open a shop of her own. Gina buys a rundown salon and inherits a motley group of headstrong stylists, a colourful clientele, and a sexy piano-playing electrician, Joe (Djimon Hounsou). It's a rocky road to fulfilling her dreams, but you can't keep a good woman down.

One of the key elements for the comedy in this film is the cultural differences between the African American culture and the white culture of America. Sure that's great if you live with this cultural difference but for someone who lives in Australia, many of the jokes and comments made just fly straight through to the keeper. But the jokes that I did get were quite funny and the story was quite touching. Kevin Bacon has no problem camping up his role as Jorge the evil former boss of Gina and does get some good laughs for his effort. Alicia Silverstone's southern accent isn't too believable and her character does seem annoying at times.

Overall Beauty Shop isn't a bad film it's just that it was written for a specific audience and many parts of it don't translate to the outside.


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who also are assassins? Yeah, it can be done, but Dave and I were discussing this film and imagine if actors who looked like normal people like Ray Romano were used for this movie -- it would probably make it a lot weirder and funnier. But that's just a thought. Anyways, before I saw this movie I didn't think it was gonna work and I'd have fun writing about how bad this film is, alas dear reader I actually enjoyed this movie.

So the story goes, John (Brad Pitt) and Jane (Angelina Jolie) Smith are getting bored with their quiet domestic life. What they don't know is that they're both assassins, secretly hopping the world and killing for hire. But their separate lives are about to collide when each finds out their next target is their own spouse.
The problem with this film is the way it is being publicised. From the trailers you would think it's a pure action movie from start to finish. What the film should be publicised as a romantic comedy with some action in it. By far I enjoyed this film when the comedy was going rather than the action. Don't get me wrong, Doug Liman knows how to direct action, just go and hire the Bourne Identity to see that, but where this film is really enjoyable is with the comedy and personality clashes of John and Jane. For instance the start of the film has both of them talking to their marriage counsellor about their problems. It's those bits of the film that get some of the big laughs.

Mr and Mrs Smith is an enjoyable film, it has action, it has comedy and it has two very sexy people killing other people but imagine Ray Romano or Jimmy Fallon suddenly walking over to someone and shooting them in the head, it would creep you out but you'd be like wow that was cool.

BEAUTY SHOP stars Queen Latifah, Kevin Bacon, Alicia Silverstone and Djimon Hounsou. It's rated M and runs 105 minutes.

MR AND MRS SMITH stars Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody. It's rated M and runs 120 minutes.

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