I tend to like Queen Latifah, though I haven't seen all of her movies. I recently watched Beauty Shop, a 2005 movie, for the second time.
Single mother Gina is working as a hairstylist in a high end salon in Atlanta that is owned by Jorge. Customers really like Gina even though Jorge looks down on her. After a disagreement with Jorge, Gina quits. She then decides that it is time for her to try to open her own salon, a dream she's had for a while but put on hold because of sending her daughter Vanessa to a private music school.
Gina buys a salon and inherits several hairdressers, two of which have huge attitudes and are critical of everything before they walk out. The others stay, though they seem to have an issue with Gina hiring Lynn, a woman stuck just washing hair at Jorge's salon. Some clients follow Gina from Jorge's, which really bothers him. Gina still has problems to deal with, like the state board inspector and his threat of shutting the salon down.
The plot for Beauty Shop isn't complicated even though a few different things are going on throughout the movie. Most of the movie is focused on the beauty shop that Gina buys and the various problems she faces with it. Things tied to her family turn up every so often. It seems like those are attempts to add more conflict and make the movie more complicated which really doesn't happen. The plot is entertaining, but very straight forward and there really aren't any surprises. Most of what happens is predictable, which will bother some viewers.
A little bit of time is taken at the beginning of Beauty Shop to introduce Gina and the other characters. It is quickly clear that she is intended to be the true talent at Jorge's salon while he is a jerk who is just interested in making money. Gina, a widow, lives with her mother-in-law and wild sister-in-law Darnelle, both who end up being involved in the beauty shop in some way. It doesn't take long for Gina to quit her job and set out to get her own salon. Things don't go exactly like she wanted, but she is able to get a salon. After that, almost everything else that happens is connected to the shop and most of the remainder of the movie is set there as well. Really the only thing specific about running a beauty shop that comes up is the state board inspector.
Beauty Shop has a decent amount of humor in it, though it could have been funnier. Various characters say and do things that are funny. Jorge ends up being the funniest character overall. Jorge acts all serious while saying some off the wall things in his very strong accent. Some of the things that happen in the beauty shop are funny, like some things that Lynn says and does while trying to be accepted. There are a few more serious moments every so often, usually dealing with Gina's daughter or Darnelle in some way. Even though I think the movie could have been stronger, it still makes for an entertaining movie.
Throughout Beauty Shop, especially early in the movie, there is a lot of suggestive dialogue that may offend some viewers. It isn't really graphic, but it might still be too graphic for some people. Gina is a widow who eventually starts a relationship with Joe, a man living above the beauty shop who also works as her electrician. Very little of the relationship is actually shown, though it is made clear that there is an attraction between them. They are shown kissing a few times without there being any sex scenes in the movie. Gina hires James, an attractive young man to work in the salon because of his ability to braid hair. The women line up to see him, though there is speculation that he is gay. Darnelle dresses very suggestively and seems to be involved with a few different men. There aren't any sex scenes in the movie, though Joe is shirtless once or twice.
Gina is the main character in Beauty Shop and most of what is going on is tied to her in some way. She is a talented hairstylist who decides to finally follow her dream of opening her own shop. She does try to plan things out and she tends to deal well with various situations. She is a likable character and Queen Latifah does well with the part. Vanessa is Gina's daughter. Vanessa is going to a special private music school and she is a talented piano player. She seems like a nice girl even though she really doesn't do a lot. Paige Hurd does well with the part.
Darnelle is Gina's younger sister-in-law who is running a bit wild. She wears very suggestive outfits and goes out with a few different men. That does get her in trouble and results in Gina making her work at the beauty shop. Darnelle does have an attitude and just wants things handed to her, but she starts to mature and change a bit by the end of the movie. Keshia Knight Pulliam does well with the part. This was the first role I'd seen her in since The Cosby Show. Gina, Vanessa, and Darnelle all live with Darnelle's mother. I think her name is Paulette, but I could be wrong because I don't remember hearing her name much in the movie. She is very supportive of Gina and while she loves Darnelle, she does get frustrated with her.
Joe works as an electrician and lives above the beauty shop. He also is a talented musician and he frequently plays the piano. Joe is just sort of around in some scenes, so Djimon Hounsou doesn't have a lot to do. Lynn starts off working at Jorge's with Gina. Lynn is only allowed to wash hair at Jorge's and she leaves to be a hair stylist at Gina's salon. She struggles to fit in there for a while since she is the only white person working there. Lynn doesn't always seem that smart at times, but she is nice. Alicia Silverstone handles the part well.
Jorge is the very arrogant owner of the high end salon where Gina works at the beginning of the movie. He is supposed to be this great stylist, but he isn't shown doing hair. The one time he attempts to wash someone's hair goes very badly. Jorge is a huge jerk and serves as a villain for the movie. Kevin Bacon is wonderful in the part and I think he steals every scene he in. The goofy accent he uses is perfect for the character. Terri is one of the rich clients that follows Gina. Terri is clueless about some things, but she seems nice. Andie McDowell is fine in the part, though she is only in a few scenes. Joanne is another rich client who follows Gina. Joanne is very superficial and thinks the world revolves around her. Mena Suvari does fine with the part.
The various stylists that work in the salon are in a lot of the movie, though not much is shared about most of them. Ida is married and expecting another child. Ms. Josephine frequently starts to recite poetry and she uses tarot cards in the shop. Chanel has a bit of an attitude. The women work together well for the most part, though they do get opinionated at times. None of them are developed that much. James is the man that Gina hires to braid hair. He is good at his job and there is speculation about his sexual orientation. Della Reese turns up briefly as a customer of the shop.
Kevin Bacon - Jorge
Miss Laura Hayes - Paulette
Djimon Hounsou - Joe
Paige Hurd - Vanessa
Queen Latifah - Gina
Andie McDowell - Terri
Keshia Knight Pulliam - Darnelle
Alicia Silverstone - Lynn
Mena Suvari - Joanne
Billie Woodruff - Director
Beauty Shop is available on DVD, though I'm not sure how many versions there are. The version I have seen includes the widescreen and full screen versions of the movie, a short featurette on the making of the movie, and a gag reel. The featurette has several cast members talking about the movie and is interesting. It was really weird to see Kevin Bacon looking like Jorge but sounding like himself.
Beauty Shop could have had a stronger, less predictable plot, but the movie is entertaining overall. Fans of the cast may enjoy it.
Queen Latifah Movie Reviews
Bringing Down the House ~ Hairspray ~ Ice Age: The Meltdown ~ Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ~ Last Holiday ~ Taxi ~ What Happens in Vegas ~
Read all 6 Reviews
Write a Review
Viewing Format: DVD