Warren Clarke and Channel 4 Wednesday 24th September 2008 Filming in Leeds for the trioligy Nineteen Seventy Four, Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eighty Three to be shown in the UK on Channel 4 this autumn Leeds, UK
Well, with one cancer diagnosis and one death in the first 15 minutes, Blow Dry is hardly the feel-good romance you'd expect. Strikingly similar to The Big Tease, Blow Dry tells the story of a haircutting competition that descends on a small town in Britain. Celebrities (well, celebrity stylists) from around England arrive to compete, and the local boys get into the act as well. But while the drama unfolds with models and shears, another drama takes place among the locals -- largely involving various romances and a singular cancer victim.
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On the new DVD's commentary track -- the trio behind Airplane!, Hot Shots, and a few other classic (and less classic) parodies -- the ZAZ crew are candid about being less than happy with their work in retrospect, and while the film is certainly dated, I still think it's a real winner.
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However, I felt just as good leaving American Pie 2 as I did after leaving Greenfingers, which tells the offbeat tale of British murderer Colin Briggs (Clive Owen of Croupier). After spending roughly half of his life behind bars, he is transferred to a more lenient facility, Edgefield. The picaresque, rustic prison allows its inmates to learn a trade, while enjoying accommodations generally found at most colleges.
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The message, for those of you people who were not able to discern it past the violence in A Clockwork Orange, was the same of the Hindu construct known as Karma: what goes around, comes around.
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"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Hairdressers with over-styled, out-of-date dos and David Copperfield-like showmanship bite each other's backs to win what is apparently a prestigious award for clever and speedy hair cutting.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.
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My summer was recently saved by two very different movies. On opening night, I...
"Blow Dry" is a leaden British dramedy about an estranged family of hairdressers reconciling when...