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The setting is West Yorkshire. The event that brings them together is the British National Hairdressing Championships. Phil initially resists the urge to compete as it reminds him of the success he and Shelley once enjoyed, but his son Brian (Pearl Harbor's Josh Hartnett) convinces him to give it a go.
Hartnett and Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That), as the daughter of Phil's old nemesis, seem like peculiar casting choices for a British film, but Hartnett's accent is passable (Cook plays an American) and they don't embarrass themselves as much as supermodel Heidi Klum, who plays a tacky, two-timing hair model. The screenplay is by Simon Beaufoy of Full Monty fame. Although not up to that standard--and certainly no match for Shampoo (the greatest hairdressing movie of all time)--Blow Dry is still a good showcase for the talents of its three leads. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Top Customer Reviews
The answer: "Blow Dry." Rickman and Nighy are fabulous as long-time rival hairdresser competitors in this campy but touching tale that tries very hard to get that unique "Strictly Ballroom" feel and camp/pathos/triumph balance. It falls just short of that, but it's a real treat nevertheless.
Unfortunately, judging from the irksome U.S. coverbox you'd never guess this was such a touching, well-written and intelligently humorous movie with a *very* talented cast - Nighy, Rickman, Natasha Richardson (!), Rachel Griffiths (!!). Now, that's an honor roll. With all that going for it, why, why, why do we get force-fed a marketing campaign featuring Josh Harnett and Rachael Leigh Cook? Harnett is quite good here, actually, pulling off a British accent with aplomb. But poor Cook is placed into a no-win situation as the supposed Minneapolis-based daughter of hairdresser Nighy. It seems force-fed into the movie...she's totally boxed in here and can't fight her way out.
I ignored this movie for two years because of bad marketing. How many others are going to miss out for the same reason? I knew Nighy (possibly my favorite actor) was involved, but felt like I was going to have to sit through a Harnett/Cook "She's All That" clone. I had to have a friend tell me otherwise. Turns out, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a great little film you need to check out as soon as possible.Read more ›
Unbeknownst to them all, Natasha is going to die, as she has lost the war with the cancer that she has been battling. When she discovers that the big hairdressing competition is coming to their town, she hopes for a last bit of glory and familial reconciliation. You see, when she ran off with Rachel Griffiths ten years prior, she did so on the eve of the hairdressing competition that they were all favored to win. Obviously, her actions squelched that prospect at the time. She hopes to make things right, now that the end is near.
She finally persuades them with much difficulty to enter the competition, where Rickman encounters his old nemesis. Then, the bag of tricks begin to fly, all of which were done much better in the movie "The Big Tease". The movie has a little difficulty deciding whether to play it for laughs or for pathos. Ultimately, pathos wins, but not without the movie having suffered from some indecision on this front. Still, Rickman, Richardson, and Griffiths are wonderful, as always, and the movie does have its worthwhile moments. It is a moderately enjoyable, though predictable, film of a family finally brought together in time of crisis. If it is a hairdressing competition film that you want, view "The Big Tease" instead.
In an attempt to try up loose ends in her life, Shelley Allen wants to enter a team (herself, her ex, their son, and her lover) in the British National Hairdressing Championships for old time's sake.
Winning is optional.
Alan Rickman works his magic has the husband who never stopped loving his wife; he's no longer "in love" but she is still importent to him.
Natasha Richardson radiates fear as a woman who knows her days are numbered but doesn't know how many she has left. She wants to live her last days in happiness with her family and reuniting this winning styling team may be her only hope to make that happen.
The weak link in a chain of strong actors are the Americans, Josh Hartnett and Rachael Leigh Cook. Hartnett's accent leaves something to be desired and he comes off very stiff. Cook's part serves little use--she is a pretty face and the insurance that Rickman and Richardson's styling team capture the win.
However, under all the fun, glamor, and heated competition that is the odd business of professional hair-styling, the message is very simple: The importent stuff in life never really goes away, it just changes a little.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't recall this movie being shown in theaters, although it probably was. A friend told me about it and, after one viewing, I bought it. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Margaret Smith
If you are an Alan Rickman fan and have not seen this movie, purchase this. It shows his amazing control in comedy, angst, and facing tragedy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pamela E. Long
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