[Screen It]


(2000) (Barry McEvoy, Brian F. O'Byrne) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Minor Heavy Mild Moderate
Mild None None Minor Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Moderate None Mild Mild

Comedy: Two men, one Catholic, the other Protestant, team up to try to get a monopoly on selling hairpieces in Northern Ireland during the 1980s.
It's Belfast in the 1980s and Colm (BARRY McEVOY), a Catholic, has just started work as a barber at the local mental hospital. Along with his Protestant coworker, George (BRIAN F. O'BRYNE), Colm gives the various patients haircuts, but realizes there must be more in life for him than doing that. He gets the chance to pursue something more when he hears about a patient known as the Scalper (BILLY CONNOLLY), who once had a monopoly on the entire hairpiece business in Northern Ireland until he scalped several of his customers.

Sensing a lucrative business opportunity, Colm and George convince the Scalper to give up his client list and they then set out to learn everything about selling hairpieces, much to the amusement of Colm's mother (RUTH McCABE) and girlfriend, Bronagh (ANNA FRIEL). They're eventually successful, however, in making their first sale with their new company, The Piece People, but then realize that they have competition from another business, Toupee or Not Toupee.

From that point on, they race against their competitors to sell the most hairpieces before Christmas Eve, with the winner being assured of having the monopoly of the business. Yet, they must contend with customers who won't pay, an I.R.A. man (COLUM CONVEY) who wants the two to supply the I.R.A. with hairpieces, and an overzealous investigator who wants to nail that man.

Unless they're interested in anything to do with Northern Ireland, hairpieces or director Barry Levinson's work, it's not very likely.
For language.
  • BARRY McEVOY plays a Catholic barber who joins forces with a Protestant coworker in starting a hairpiece business. Along the way he must contend with various complications and obstacles and uses strong profanity and smokes a few times while doing so.
  • BRIAN F. O'BRYNE plays his Protestant coworker who faces the same challenges and also uses strong profanity.
  • ANNA FRIEL plays Colm's feisty but resourceful and smart girlfriend who helps run their business, smokes a few times and also uses strong profanity.
  • COLUM CONVEY plays a local I.R.A. leader who first threatens the two men, but then wants to become a customer. He also uses strong profanity.
  • BILLY CONNOLLY plays a mental hospital patient who reportedly scalped several customers of his in the past. He also uses strong profanity.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity is what earns that rating, with more than 70 uses of the "f" word, along with other expletives and colorful phrases being used by all of the major characters. Some sexually related comments are made, while two women see a young man's bare butt (as do we) and crotch (we don't, but they make brief comments about what they see) as they remove his rain-soaked clothes, all while believing he's one of the women's sons.

    Members of both the I.R.A. and the British military and/or local police carry various weapons and use them to threaten or arrest others, while in one scene a mental patient bites a man somewhere on his head (but with no graphic results). Some of those scenes could be a little tense to some viewers. Various characters drink and smoke (with a miscellaneous character apparently being passed out drunk), and they and others have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Finally, we briefly see some cow manure both on the floor of a barn and coming directly from the source.

    Should you still be concerned with the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who wishes to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.

  • Colm's mother and another woman retrieve a drunken and passed out young man they believe to be Colm's brother, but it turns out to be another man.
  • An I.R.A. member has a beer in front of him.
  • People have drinks in a bar.
  • People have drinks in a bar again where Colm, George and Bronagh drink shots.
  • Colm steps in a large pile of fresh cow manure in a barn. Moments later, we graphically see a cow producing more of it from the source.
  • We briefly see a man's urine stream going into a toilet (but we don't see it coming out of his body).
  • Depending on one's viewpoint, political stances, etc. the British and/or the I.R.A. members might be seen as having bad attitudes for their stances and actions.
  • Although we don't see any of his handiwork, we hear that the "Scalper" scalped four people before being locked up.
  • A customer's check for payment bounces and he then refuses to repay or return the hairpiece. When Colm goes to retrieve it, the man is belligerent and then he and his coworkers chase Colm after he grabs the piece off the man's head.
  • The men sell their first customer their sample (which we later learn they're not supposed to sell).
  • Some pro-British men act a bit menacingly toward Colm and Bronagh when the latter try to sneak out of the end of a movie before the "God Save The Queen" song plays on the screen.
  • Although it's all played for laughs and action/adventure, it's possible some viewers might find a scene where various men (including one who refused to pay for his hairpiece) chase Colm through the streets after Colm yanks the piece off that man's head.
  • The same holds true for a later scene where a bunch of large dogs surround Colm and try to get that hairpiece.
  • Some I.R.A. members surround Colm and George in their car at night and then forcibly remove them from the car at gunpoint. After a few tense moments, the scene turns over to comedy.
  • Machineguns/Handguns: Carried and/or used by members of the military or I.R.A. to threaten or arrest others.
  • Various paintings on street walls show various people carrying weapons.
  • Due to some occasionally strong Irish accents, some dialogue couldn't always be completely understood. That said, we heard the following phrases: "F*ck off," "F*cking genius," "F*cker," "Go f*ck yourself," "F*ck me" (nonsexual), "That's f*cking brilliant," "For f*ck's sake," "F*ck off," "F*ck 'em," "Shut the f*ck up," "You're a sick f*ck," "Bastard(s)," "Pissed off," "Dirty bugger," "Balls" (testicles), "You're a d*ck" and "Freaks."
  • Colm gives "the finger" to some people chasing him.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song has a mention of guns in some of its lyrics.
  • Due to some occasionally strong Irish accents, some dialogue couldn't always be completely understood. That said, we heard at least 74 "f" words (1 used sexually), 6 "s" words, 14 slang terms for/using male genitals ("d*ck" and "little/big man"), 4 asses, 3 bollocks, 2 craps, 14 uses of "Jesus," 5 of "Jesus, Mary & Joseph," 4 of "Oh Jesus," 2 of "Jesus Christ" and 1 use of "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • A woman in the O'Neil household oddly refers to Bronagh popping a zit on Colm's face as "erotic."
  • Bronagh playfully grabs at Colm's crotch when he arrives for his first day of work at the mental hospital.
  • The scalper makes a joke about what St. Paul said to hermaphrodites: "Go f*ck yourselves, yours sincerely, St. Paul."
  • Colm's mother and another woman undress a rain-soaked young man they believe to be Colm's brother. While doing so, they (and we) briefly see this man's bare butt and they get a view of his crotch (but we don't). Colm's mother then says that it's just his "little man," but then takes another look and amends that by saying, "I should say his big man." She then adds, "He didn't get that from his daddy." We then see another brief shot of this man's bare butt. When Colm and Bronagh come in and inform them that this isn't his brother, the other woman starts to say that they saw the man's genitals, but can't, so Bronagh finishes it by saying, "You saw his d*ck."
  • The camera briefly focuses on and then moves up Bronagh's leg and part of her thigh as her dress exposes that.
  • After Colm tells Bronagh that he won't sell hairpieces to the I.R.A. as a body (something Bronagh was unhappy about), she then playfully tells him that she isn't wearing any knickers.
  • Colm, Bronagh and Colm's mother smoke several times, while various miscellaneous characters smoke cigarettes and cigars in a few scenes.
  • None.
  • The Irish/British conflict in Ireland, and the I.R.A.
  • Hairpieces and the reasons why people wear them.
  • A mental patient suddenly bites onto Colm's ear or side of face while seated in a barber's chair (but there's no blood or any later marks). A ward then uses a stun gun to zap that patient.
  • Although we don't see any of his handiwork, we hear that the "Scalper" scalped four people before being locked up.
  • Some I.R.A. members surround Colm and George in their car at night and then forcibly remove them from the car at gunpoint.
  • The police/military rush in and arrest Colm and George at gunpoint (thinking they're linked to the I.R.A.).

  • Reviewed December 19, 2000 / Posted December 25, 2000

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