The Big Tease Movie Review

Cut, Curl, Crimp, Color. The Big Tease is a mockumentary tracing flamboyant gay hairdresser Crawford Mackenzie's (Craig Ferguson - The Drew Carey Show) unlikely journey from Scotland to Los Angeles in his quest to win the World International Hairdressing Federation's (WIHF) Platinum Scissors Competition. The adventurous bumbling begins when MacKenzie mistakes a form letter - asking him to be part of the audience - for an invitation to compete against three of the world's top stylists, including his idol and the reigning Platinum Scissors holder Stig Ludwiggssen (David Rasche).

Accompanied by filmmaker Martin (Chris Langham - BBC's Kiss Me Kate), Mackenzie travels to LA, where he plans to finally claim the artistic recognition and fame that his small Scotland hometown can't offer. (Except for that time he got to dry Sean Connery's toupee after it fell into some water on a golf course). Upon arriving in California, he kicks up his kilt and happily takes advantage of what he assumes are complimentary hotel amenities, only to wake up to the reality of a maxed out credit card. His passport now held collateral on his outstanding charges, he proceeds to WIHF headquarters, expecting to clear up the confusion and get reimbursed. Unfortunately, WIHF President Monique (Mary McCormack) is not about to pick up the tab for Mackenzie's misunderstanding, nor does she plan to allow him to enter the competition. Undaunted, the remainder of the comedy unfolds in his search of any and every way to gain entry in the prestigious contest. Antics include befriending celebrity promoter Candy Harper (Frances Fisher), calling on Sean Connery (to return a favor), and visiting a testosterone-oozing Senator whose company sponsors the WIHF event.

Ferguson plays the eccentric hairdresser with finesse - he's silly and endearing in his portrayal of destiny to attain the coveted Platinum Scissors. Chris Langham does a fine job with his feeble character, providing a constant if not invisible sidekick for Mackenzie. Frances Fisher is great in her role as Mackenzie's compassionate and determined advocate, demonstrating her versatility, in contrast with more serious roles in films like Titanic, Unforgiven, and True Crime. Cameo performances by Drew Carey, David Hasselhoff, Cathy Lee Crosby, and John Paul DeJoria (a.k.a. John Paul Mitchell, stylist extraordinaire) are sprinkled to provide that true Hollywood feel.

Overall, The Big Tease holds no real surprises, but the culminating scene is outrageously over-the-top and doesn't disappoint. Although the mockumentary format was strained and became somewhat annoying at times, it's not enough to kill the general cuteness and entertainment of the production. Zany characters, bigtime costumes and an originally absurd premise (a world championship of hairstyling ?!?) offer as many smiles as I remember from spinning around in the chair at the barber shop.

Don't Tease us.


Comments

The Big Tease Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1999

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