Saturday, October 26, 2002

Barbershop (IMDB) (Netflix)
What was the fuss all about, that brouhaha about one of the characters saying that Rosa Parks didn't do anything special that day on the bus? It was a barbershop for Pete's sake, a free speech zone where any nitwit can have an opinion, like the corner bar, the op-ed page or a sports call-in show.

Fortunately, the movie is more than the controversy it engendered, and more than guys spouting uninformed opinions. There's a story here, about one of the rapping Ices--in this case, Cube--who owns a struggling South Side Chicago barbershop and makes a business decision he soon regrets, and a couple of mooks who steal an ATM devoid of money. And while the characterizations aren't always the most imaginative, and a little too much explicit telling instead of just implicitly showing, there's plenty of heart. Cedric the Entertainer is also such a font of slightly outrageous opining that the film chugs along to a satisfying conclusion. Not destined to be a comedy classic, but an endearing little movie that gently humanizes a part of society that's closer than we sometimes want to admit.