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Beauty Shop
2005 - PG-13 - 105 Mins.
Director: Billie Woodruff
Producer: Matt Alvarez, Ice Cube, Todd Lieberman
Written By: Kate Lanier, Norman Vance Jr.
Starring: Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Andie MacDowell
Review by: Tamika Johnson
Official Site: www.mgm.com/beautyshop/
   
Beauty Shop tells the story of Gina (Queen Latifah) as she moves to Atlanta so her daughter can go to an exclusive music school. She finds a job as a stylist at a high end salon but after a confrontation with her boss leaves and opens her own beauty shop.

Beauty Shop doesn’t quite rise to the occasion as it repackages and regurgitates characters, themes and plots that we have seen before. It is one thing to tell a story that has previously been done yet bring something new to what may be an overdone but entertaining storyline and it is another to retell a story and not bring anything new to the table at all. Beauty Shop falls into the latter category and suffers greatly for it.

The main problem with Beauty Shop is that it is Barber Shop with women. From the plot twists to the characters inside the shop, it is the exact same movie as Barbershop except with Queen Latifah at the helm instead of Ice Cube. There is the funny, familial and penny pinching boss, Gina (Queen Latifah). There is the misguided, yet full of potential stylist in training, Darnelle (Keshia Knight-Pulliman). There’s the arrogant, know it all stylist who is a pain in everyone’s side, Chanel (Golden Brooks). There’s the novice stylist of a different race that can’t get any business, Lynn (Alicia Silverstone) and finally there’s the opposite sex stylist who is the only one of his kind in the salon, James (Bryce Wilson). Add to that the money problems, someone trying to take over the business and the possibility that the shop may have to close for good and you have the same movie, same story without any added flare. You even have the character that hawks their goods at the shop: in Barbershop it was a man selling bootleg CDs and DVDs and in Beauty Shop it is a woman selling catfish and monkey bread. The concept of being original must have never crossed the writer’s minds.

And once again I say, can we dispense with the gay stylists. That is a stereotype that can go to the stereotype graveyard never to be seen or heard of again…ever. Kevin Bacon, an actor I love does an absolutely horrible and I repeat horrible job playing Latifah’s gay and fascist boss. We can also dispense with "metrosexuals" the new overused and unfunny effeminate male stereotype that is going to appear in every movie where men are employed in what are typically considered to be women’s jobs. If so, I say please stop now before you make audiences suffer anymore then we already have at this new, unnecessary caricature. There was one of these characters in "Guess Who", and one of Beauty Shop’s many subplots is trying to figure out if the only male stylist is gay, straight or a metrosexual which would be a cross between the two.

For positives, there were some laughs and the opportunity to see a shirtless Djimon Hounsou was almost worth my money, but overall Beauty Shop was unoriginal and a bore. Ultimately the question is -- do you really want to spend your money on something you’ve already seen before. For me the answer is simple: No, I don’t.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

 
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