Blow Dry

"Weak"

Blow Dry Review


"Blow Dry" is a leaden British dramedy about an estranged family of hairdressers reconciling when a big coiffeur competition comes to their small town. Like "The Big Tease" -- a similarly themed English mockumentary that came out last year, delaying the release of this one -- its laughs come mostly from tired flamboyancy stereotypes.

Hairdressers with over-styled, out-of-date dos and David Copperfield-like showmanship bite each other's backs to win what is apparently a prestigious award for clever and speedy hair cutting. Meanwhile a sad-sack local barber (Alan Rickman) enters the competition with his son (Josh Hartnett, "The Virgin Suicides") to face down his former salon partner (Bill Nighy), now the nation's star hairdresser and the dirty-tricking front-runner in the contest.

Besides suffering from the same problems "The Big Tease" had -- basically that it's a cliché-riddled underdog sports movie with a dye job and a limp wrist -- "Blow Dry" is also saddled with a maudlin, comedy-antidote subplot about Rickman's estranged lesbian ex-wife (Natasha Richardson), who is bravely dying of cancer 10 years after leaving him for his hair model (a criminally under-used Rachel Griffiths). Brought together again by the competition, everybody gets busy forgiving.

Some of the film's good laughs stem from the fact that Hartnett (doing a surprising spot-on English accent) styles hair for the local funeral home. Trying to romance the daughter (Rachel Leigh Cook) of the cheating big shot -- who apparently hasn't inherited her father's skills with scissors and dye -- Hartnett helps her practice her coloring technique on a few corpses.

But despite good (if overly earnest) performances by a talented cast, for every witticism in the picture there's at least one lame stereotype, at least one forced attempt to showcase the adorably quirky townsfolk and at least one unnecessarily somber moment that makes "Blow Dry" feel like some kind of vague message movie.

Some draft of the screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy of "Full Monty" fame, but how much he's to blame is unclear. His cryptic credit reads "Based on the screenplay 'Never Better' by Simon Beaufoy" -- the vagueness of which is, by itself, pretty telling.



Blow Dry

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th March 2001

Box Office Worldwide: $637.8 thousand

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 52

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Paddy Brethnach

Starring: as Phil Allen, as Brian Allen, as Shelley Allen, as Jasmine, as Christina Robertson, as Sandra, as Ray (Raymond) Robertson, as Tony, as Daisy, as Louis, as Vincent, as Robert, as Noah, as Saul, Ann Rye as Margaret, Farmer's Wife

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.