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Blow Dry

105 customer reviews

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(Aug 14, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring Rachael Leigh Cook (SHE'S ALL THAT), Josh Hartnett (PEARL HARBOR), and Alan Rickman (GALAXY QUEST) in a great ensemble cast -- the Academy Award(R)- nominated writer of THE FULL MONTY has crafted a hilarious story about the things everyone wants in life: love, happiness, and great hair! As the National Hair Championships descend upon a small town in England, the country's top stylists aren't expecting much from the local talent. But they didn't count on Phil Allen (Rickman), the retired golden boy of the competition circuit, entering the fray! Also starring Natasha Richardson (THE PARENT TRAP), Rachel Griffiths (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING), and supermodel Heidi Klum -- laugh along as the locals dazzle the out-of-towners with some hair dos ... and don'ts.

Despite a gifted Anglo-American cast, Blow Dry strikes an uneasy balance between sentiment and camp. It aims for the same sort of high-wire act that Strictly Ballroom and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert pulled off so effortlessly, but melodrama wins the day. The comic moments are suitably over-the-top (as expected in a film about dueling hairdressers), but rarely as amusing as intended. The relationships between barbershop owner Phil (Alan Rickman), ex-wife Shelley (Natasha Richardson), and Sandra (Rachel Griffiths), "the other woman," could be more fully developed but are affecting nonetheless.

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson, Rachel Griffiths, Rachael Leigh Cook, Josh Hartnett
  • Directors: Paddy Breathnach
  • Writers: Simon Beaufoy
  • Producers: Chris Sievernich, DTeflon, David Brown, David Rubin, Guy East
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2001
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005K3OR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,252 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blow Dry" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on December 20, 2003
Format: DVD
I recently saw Richard Curtis' wonderful 'Love Actually' and - having been bowled over once again by the bountiful comic talents of Bill Nighy and great work of the sloe-eyed, laconic Alan Rickman - wondered where to turn next to enjoy the work of these two fine actors.
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Cush on November 17, 2004
Format: DVD
Alan Rickman is fantastic in any role he takes on. In his role as a divorced hair stylist, who is still in love with his ex-wife who is a lesbian, Alan continues to amaze the audience with his multi-faceted talent. He touches your heart with humor, love, angered emotion and a yearning for what he knows he can't have; his wife. In the midst of it all is a plot that is both comical and tragic. This film had me watching it again and again and again. If you love Alan Rickman, you will love this movie as well.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is a movie about a family divided, who are brought together at a crossroad in their lives by a hairdressing championship being held in their small town. The family, comprised of Alan Rickman and his grown son, played by Joshua Harnett, run the town barber shop and are estranged from their former wife and mother, played by Natasha Richardson. The estrangement came about ten years previously, when she ran off with their hairdressing model, played by Rachel Griffiths, a woman with whom she still maintains a loving, romantic relationship and openly lives with as a couple. Rickman, feeling that he had not only been betrayed but made a laughingstock, has not forgiven her.
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shylocks Daughter on September 18, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A wife (Natasha Richardson) suddenly leaves her husband (Alan Rickman) and young son (Josh Hartnett) for another woman (Rachel Griffiths). Ten years later, she has cancer and is dying.
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.
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