8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
BarberShop Is A Must See Movie, 10 Dec 2002
The most impressive thing about "Barbershop" is what happens before the film even starts. And this "thing" is the tremendous goodwill and nostalgia that the film, like "Soul Food" and the stage play "Beauty Shop" before it, generates in all of us. We want to go see a production about a person, place or thing with icon status in the Black community. And the barbershop is that community social club where everyday brothers take their seat in an impromptu council of wisdom and posturing. With the background buzz of clippers, and with black puffs of hair accumulating on the floor, men become instant experts on topics ranging from sports, to politics, to the authenticity of Janet Jackson's boobs.
Ice Cube stars as "Calvin," a barbershop owner.
Add to this goodwill, Ice Cube's street credentials and the much-adored Cedric 'The Entertainer' and Anthony Anderson, and you have a triple crown of marketing genius. We all figure this must be something to see.
And it is a little of something. The film looks great. The story is O.K., rising above the feel of dialogue just slapped together to support predictable jokes. The story is that Calvin, (Ice Cube) has been operating the family's barbershop since his father's death and is struggling to keep his the doors open while pursuing other entrepreneurial visions. Not only is he increasingly tired of broke brothers begging for a free cut, he is also a referee between numerous personalities working as barbers, including Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas), Terri (Eve) and Ricky (Michael Ealy). In the hands of Ice Cube and writer Mark Brown, the mythical barbershop represents the promise of sustaining and renewing our community and asks, in more than one way, "can we all get along?"
Can we get along at all with all the crazy stuff happening in the street, like the fact that someone-imitating a crime taken from yesterday's headlines-has crashed into a neighborhood convenience store and stolen an ATM machine. This is where Anthony Anderson comes in, as an unlikely and not-too-bright thief. As much as Anthony Anderson usually steals the show, his role here is more funny than anything else. That same strange gap in big funny happens in the barbershop. After all, I think that most people will see "Barbershop" to be wrapped in a feeling of belonging and to recognize ourselves somewhere up there on the big screen. We still embrace art-be it theater, dance, visual arts, music or film-that allows us to see ourselves as we see ourselves, and see ourselves in places we feel at home.