The laughs come fast and easy in "Beauty Shop," a sharp-tonguedspin-off from IceCube's "Barbershop"comedies that follows stylist Gina Norris (Queen Latifah) as she opensher own salon. But the minimal-effort plot keeps getting underfoot.
After performing peripheral duties in "Barbershop2: Back in Business," Gina has moved fromChicago to Atlanta in this picture so her daughter can attend a prestigiousperforming arts school. To pay for it she's been putting up with workingunder Jorge, the pompous, flamboyantly skanky owner of a ritzy downtownsalon -- played by Kevin Bacon with a gleefully bad Euro-trash accent andgreasy, over-highlighted hair in his eyes.
But as the movie opens, she's just about had enough. Packingup her scissors and you-go-girl self-confidence, she hooks a small bankloan and fixes up a neglected beauty shop on the edge of a rough neighborhood,where inherits a handful of mouthy stylists with chips on their shouldersand hopes for the best.
Following the successful "Barbershop" formula,the movie's strength is its colorful cast of characters for whom no topic-- from bikini waxes to Oprah Winfrey -- is off-limits to zingers and smartremarks. They range from the ever under-appreciated Alfre Woodard as aheritage-proud black hairdresser who knows a Maya Angelou quote for everyoccasion to Alicia Silverstone as a bumpkin shampoo girl (with an unconvincingsouthern accent) who leaves Jorge's with Gina and gets a ghetto makeoverafter slowly winning over her new co-workers.
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