- - - -
BY JACOB ZHIVOV
JUNE 9, 2005
- - - -
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
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.