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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

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on 8 June 2017
This must be one of the funniest films ever with a hint of pathos plus sadness. All star cast with Hugh Bonneville as you've never seen him. Can really recommend.
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on 23 April 2002
I was dubious about the film but I've now watched it twice and still found it funny second time round. The added bonus is that it's set in Keighley - not far from me - and the actors all have broad Yorkshire accents. Coming from Josh Hartnett, a Yank, it's hilarious but he does a superb job of it; and Alan Rickman sounds almost as good! The story is actually quite profound - if you see past all the hairdressing and focus on the human aspects, the family aspects, the relationships and how potential tragedy can bring out the best in people, it's fantastic. The highlight for me was the tattoo on the sole of Rickman's foot!! It's original comedy and great drama combined. I'm glad I've got it.
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Keighley is the site of the British Hairdressing Championship and the whole town is aflutter with the arrival of the country's top stylists including Ray Robertson (Bill Nighy). His one-time rival (Alan Rickman) has led a quiet life as the local barber ever since his wife (Natasha Richardson) left him. She now owns a beauty shop and wants to enter the competition, but first the doctor has some news for her.

This film boasts an ensemble cast of talented stars and a very witty script. There is an interesting back-story for each character; some are silly, others poignant. Bill Nighy is an absolute riot as the flamboyant and unscrupulous hair diva, Rickman plays it serious as a poker-faced used-to-be, while Richardson is plucky as a lesbian with health issues. All of the smaller roles are gems, too, especially the uptight Keighley lord mayor (Warren Clarke) who sings Elvis, and Rosemary Harris as an elderly nursing home resident.

This collection of eccentric characters competing in an over-the-top contest had me laughing from start to finish. Highly recommended.
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on 28 June 2010
I didn't expect too much from this film, but I found that I really enjoyed it. Rachel Griffith and a young Josh Hartnett do an excellent job of their English Accents which was highly enjoyable to watch. A warm little comedy, where the National Hairdressers Championship comes to a small village in the north of England and the has-beens of the hairdressing world vie for its Cup. There could definitely have been a few more idiosyncratic comedic moments in light of its storyline, but the ones that are in there work well. There are also some lovely, tender moments which are very well played by Natasha Richardson, whose character is battling a terminal illness amidst the pomp extravaganza that this tournament brings to her village. Some great actors in this film bring this simple light-hearted script to life without being over the top. Go in with an open mind and it will bring a smile to your face.
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on 14 March 2005
I don't suppose you can really have a film that features Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson and Warren Clarke and yet turns out to be total twaddle, but take a novel idea and let these; some of the finest British actors, run away with it and you have something really unique on your hands.
A real mixture of over the top campness and complete pantomime this could have easily turned out to be a total farce but yet it somehow manages to combine the extreme showbiz with heart warming moments and pull it off with aplomb.
Mind you, you do have to question the choice of Josh Hartnett as the handsome young man interest, nothing against him as an actor and the less said about the accent the better, but couldn't they have found a young British actor instead?
Keep a look out for Peter Kay also in one of the crowd scenes.
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This is a movie about a family divided, brought together at a crossroad in their lives by a hairdressing championship being held in their small town. The family, comprised of Alan Rickman and his grown son, played by Joshua Harnett, run the town barber shop and are estranged from their former wife and mother, played by Natasha Richardson. The estrangement came about ten years prior, when she ran off with their hairdressing model, played by Rachel Griffiths, a woman with whom she still maintains a loving, romantic relationship and openly lives with as a couple. Rickman, feeling that he had not only been betrayed but also made a laughingstock, has not forgiven her.
Unbeknownst to them all, Natasha is going to die, as she has lost the war with the cancer that she has been battling. When she discovers that the big hairdressing competition is coming to their town, she hopes for a last bit of glory and familial reconciliation. You see, when she ran off with Rachel Griffiths ten years prior, she did so on the eve of the hairdressing competition that they were all favored to win. Obviously, her actions squelched that prospect at the time. She hopes to make things right, now that the end is near.
With much difficulty, she finally persuades her ex-husband to enter the competition, where Rickman encounters his old nemesis. Then, the bag of tricks begin to fly, all of which were done much better in the movie "The Big Tease". The movie has a little difficulty deciding whether to play it for laughs or for pathos. Ultimately, pathos wins, but not without the movie having suffered from some indecision on this front. Still, Rickman, Richardson, Harnett, and Griffiths are wonderful, as always, and the movie does have its worthwhile moments. It is a moderately enjoyable, though predictable, film of a family finally brought together in time of crisis. If it is a hairdressing competition film that you want, view "The Big Tease" instead.
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on 5 July 2015
I saw this movie ages ago and have always been on the lookout for the DVD that I could buy and have posted to Australia (no chance of finding it here). I love Alan Rickman, would have this man read me the phone directory, as his voice is sublime...the storyline is short and sweet, we are not given too much of the past happenings of the main characters nor too much of what the future will be, but are given a fun glimpse into a National Hairdressing competition held in the small town of Keighley in Yorkshire. The mayor, wonderfully played by the late Warren Clarke who transforms from a pompous figure to Elvis look-a-like by the end of the film, informs the townsfolk that they have been chosen to host this event, but this news is not met with any enthusiasm from the press or local hairdressing salon and barber. This is where the story is interesting with a twist in the tale regarding the owner of the barber shop played by Alan Rickman and his ex-wife played by the late Natasha Richardson who after words, team up to be the competitors from the town of Keighley and take on the challenge of beating the competition. The biggest team to beat are the reigning champions played wonderfully well by the fabulous Bill Nighy and a brilliantly camp Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham to most people now). Humour - sheep used as models for hair colouring practice, as are a few departed citizens in the mortuary, sadness and an interesting and great cast of some great actors and comedians - Peter Kay, Rachel Griffiths, Rosemary Harris, Heidi Klum and more. A great fun movie to enjoy.
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With a plethora of stars ranging from Bill Nighy to Alan Rickman and Warren Clarke with lots of others thrown in for good measure a film can't be bad but this offering comes pretty close. It's set in 2000 but looks as if it were set in the late 1970's and is about a national hairdressing competition with so much campness it nearly doesn't work but somehow it does. Not in the least way highbrow but funny enough to make it worth watching - if you've seen and liked "Very Annie Mary" you'll like this film.
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on 3 April 2016
The cover of the DVD makes it look like an American teen romance, which it clearly is not, but if you like quirky British films with a strong ensemble cast, do give this one a go. As has been pointed out by several reviewers, the film strikes an odd / unusual balance between complete camp (British National Hairdressers' Championship, with all the cliches you can imagine) and utter sadness (serious illness). However, the actors are uniformly very, very good and all put in excellent performances, ranging from Bill Nighy's ruthless but rather fun star hairdresser to Rachel Griffith's naive and warm-hearted model. Alan Rickman and Natasha Richardson are the stand-outs here, and manage to convey depths of emotions - it is pure joy to watch them.

Yes, the film could have been a lot better, mainly if the script had struck a better balance between the serious and the frivolous, but the performance of the actors elevates this film into a whole different category.
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on 4 September 2004
What a marvellous piece of escapism for a Saturday afternoon! A good mix of comedy and tragedy keeps this film from being too sickly; the illness of one character is handled realistically, yet the film does not dwell on this. The setting is superb, as is most of the cast; with the possible exception of Josh Hartnett (never really got the hang of the old Yorkshire accent, but tried valiantly anyway!)there is nevertheless a knockout combination of "male cameo" (Warren Clarke in excellent form), "the Baddy" (Bill Nighy casting evil glares in every direction) and the "reluctant hero" (Alan Rickman at a dour best). The female characters support rather than lead, but on the whole do it very well; my only complaint was Cook's rather yawn-inducing screen presence. All in all, a really enjoyable "watch-again" film!
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