|Genres||Comedy Drama Romance|
|Cast||Alan Rickman Natasha Richardson Rachel Griffiths Rachael Leigh Cook Josh Hartnett Bill Nighy Warren Clarke Rosemary Harris Hugh Bonneville Heidi Klum Peter McDonald Michael McElhatton David Bradley Ben Crompton Ann Rye Ray Emmet Brown Oliver Ford Davies Elizabeth Woodcock Mark Benton Gordon Langford Rowe|
|Country||USA, UK, Germany|
|Plot||The annual British Hairdressing Championship comes to Keighley, a town where Phil and son Brian run a barbershop and Phil's ex-wife Shelly and her lover Sandra run a beauty salon. Phil and Shelly haven't talked in ten years, since she bolted; she's just found out her cancer is terminal; and, Ray Roberts, the reigning hairdressing champion, blows into town taunting Phil for retreating from competitive styling into barbering. Roberts also brings his daughter, Christina, who remembers Brian from when she was a little kid. Everything's set: Brian decides to enter the competition with his mom and Sandra; will Phil join in? Ray wants to win at any cost; will Christina go along?... see Blow Dry on IMDb|
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|Despite a gifted Anglo-American cast, Blow Dry strikes an uneasy balance between sentiment and camp. It aims for the same sort of high-wire act that Strictly Ballroom and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert pulled off so effortlessly, but melodrama wins the day. The comic moments are suitably over-the-top (as expected in a film about dueling hairdressers), but rarely as amusing as intended. The relationships between barbershop owner Phil (Alan Rickman), ex-wife Shelley (Natasha Richardson), and Sandra (Rachel Griffiths), "the other woman," could be more fully developed but are affecting nonetheless.|
The setting is West Yorkshire. The event that brings them together is the British National Hairdressing Championships. Phil initially resists the urge to compete as it reminds him of the success he and Shelley once enjoyed, but his son Brian (Pearl Harbor's Josh Hartnett) convinces him to give it a go.
Hartnett and Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That), as the daughter of Phil's old nemesis, seem like peculiar casting choices for a British film, but Hartnett's accent is passable (Cook plays an American) and they don't embarrass themselves as much as supermodel Heidi Klum, who plays a tacky, two-timing hair model. The screenplay is by Simon Beaufoy of Full Monty fame. Although not up to that standard--and certainly no match for Shampoo (the greatest hairdressing movie of all time)--Blow Dry is still a good showcase for the talents of its three leads. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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