[Screen It]


(2001) (Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson) (R)

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

Comedy: As a prestigious hairdressing championship blows into their small town, the members of a former award winning team try to sort out their feelings toward one another as they reluctantly agree to enter the contest.
It's a big day in the small town of Keighley, England when it's announced that the prestigious National British Hairdressing Championship has chosen their quaint Yorkshire municipality for their annual contest. Tony (WARREN CLARKE), the town's mayor, is obviously excited and wants local barber Phil Allen (ALAN RICKMAN) to represent them in the championship.

That's the last thing that Phil - a former champion himself - wants to do as he hasn't competed since his wife, Shelley (NATASHA RICHARDSON), ran off with his model, Sandra (RACHEL GRIFFITHS), on the night before a contest some ten years ago, leaving him to raise their son, Brian (JOSH HARTNETT), who's now joined his dad in the hair cutting business.

As the various contestants arrive in town - including the current championship team of Phil's old adversary, Ray Roberts (BILL NIGHY), his estranged daughter/model, Christine (RACHEL LEIGH COOK), and their assistant, Louis (HUGH BONNEVILLE) - the locals all react in differing ways.

Shelley, who's just discovered that her ongoing battle with cancer is a losing one, wants to enter the competition one last time. Brian, whose interest in Christine now stems from a romantic angle, also wants to compete, hoping that he can stop practicing on the cadavers at the local funeral home.

As the competition begins with Shelley and Brian reluctantly brought together as a team, the contestants go through the various rounds of the championship that soon stir feelings within Phil and eventually lead to reconciliation within his family.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of hairdressers and/or hairstyling, it's probably not very likely.
For some language and brief nudity.
  • ALAN RICKMAN plays a small town barber who gave up on hairdressing contests and his wife after she ran off with his female model the night before a big contest. Initially displaying somewhat of a surly, off-putting demeanor, he eventually warms up. He also briefly uses strong profanity.
  • NATASHA RICHARDSON plays his former wife who turned out to be a lesbian who ran off with Sandra a decade or so ago. A professional beautician, she's dying of cancer and smokes, but wants one more chance at winning the hairdressing championship.
  • RACHEL GRIFFITHS plays her lesbian lover and former model for Phil. She uses strong profanity.
  • JOSH HARTNETT plays Phil and Shelley's adult son who's following in his parents' hair cutting footsteps. He's mostly estranged from his mother (due to her leaving them), wants to enter the competition and is interested in Christine.
  • RACHEL LEIGH COOK plays the young woman who's estranged from her father, but has arrived to serve as his model, and is likewise interested in Brian.
  • BILL NIGHY plays her competitive father, the reigning hairdressing champion who will do anything to win, including cheating and sabotaging the efforts of his competitors.
  • HUGH BONNEVILLE plays his assistant in such efforts.
  • WARREN CLARKE plays the town's mayor who's excited to have the championship in his town.
  • HEIDI KLUM plays a model who fools around with her brother-in-law and has him cut and dye her pubic hair.


    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).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is listed as heavy due to the use of at least 6 "f" words, while a few other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some brief and non-explicit, sexually related dialogue occurs (related to some brief, onscreen fooling around between a married woman and her brother-in-law and implications of more), while several nonsexual instances of nudity are present (bare breasts, female pubic hair, etc.).

    Two of the major characters are lesbian lovers, one of which left her husband for the other woman, thus creating an estranged family relationship and related tense moments. Other characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some drink and some smoke. One character is dying from cancer, several dead, but not bloody or gory bodies are seen in a funeral home (fully clothed), an older man shoots at what he believes are trespassers/burglars, some men injure another man's hand off-screen, and a person briefly makes a flamethrower out of an aerosol can.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings where you'll find more specific descriptions and accounts of what occurs in the film.

  • Some people have drinks while watching a hair cutting demonstration/presentation.
  • Phil drinks liquor from a glass.
  • Shelley and Sandra have champagne and Sandra tells Shelley that it tastes better when consumed in bed.
  • People have drinks at a party.
  • Christine and Brian have wine in front of them.
  • Some people drink in a bar, including Phil, while Ray orders two gin and tonics.
  • Shelley mentions that some medical option for her cancer is about as likely as "to poop on a pogo stick."
  • We see some dead bodies in a funeral home, but beyond being dead, they aren't bloody or gory looking.
  • Shelley tells several white lies to others about the state of her health (saying that she's free of cancer when she's not).
  • We learn that Shelley left Phil for Sandra, his model, while married to him some ten years ago.
  • Ray has a condescending attitude toward Phil in his presence and behind his back.
  • Louis covertly switches all of the contest combs with ones that will melt during the competition (thus giving him and Ray an unfair advantage). Later, we see that they're preparing one of the "randomly picked" models the night before the competition (and Justine helps color this man's hair, knowing that they're cheating).
  • While seated at a table, a woman puts her hand on her brother-in-law's clothed crotch, and then later has him trim and color her pubic hair after having her legs wrapped around him (and otherwise acting sexual toward him).
  • Brian allows Christine to practice her hair dying techniques on several bodies in a funeral home (that he also practices his hair cutting on, although the latter appears to be acknowledged by everyone).
  • Trying to find a look for the final round of the competition, Sandra dresses as a Japanese geisha and even makes the stereotypical Japanese sounds.
  • None.
  • Rifle: Fired a few times by an older man at the Allen family that he believes are trespassers or burglars around his house at night.
  • Due to some occasional thick accents, a few instances of dialogue couldn't be understood. That said, we did hear the following phrases: "You f*cking liar," "Ungrateful bastards," "Bastard," "Bloody" (adjective), "You're stuffed," "Piss around," "Where the hell have you been?" "Bollocky," "Piss," "Bugger(s)," "Bloody hell," "You selfish old bat" and "Freaking."
  • Christine cuts her own hair to spite her father (and keep him from using her as his model).
  • Phil has a tattoo of a pair of cutting shears on the bottom of his foot and we later see that Sandra has a large tattoo on her head (from the past) after most of her hair is shaved off.
  • A man takes an aerosol can and turns it into a flamethrower of sorts with a match or lighter (that he then uses to burn part of the top, bride and groom portion of a model's elaborate hair dressing).
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Due to some occasional thick accents, a few instances of dialogue couldn't be understood. That said, we heard at least: 6 "f" words, 2 hells, and 1 use each of "Christ," "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • A woman wears a very short and tight-fitting dress.
  • Shelley and Sandra have champagne and Sandra tells Shelley that it tastes better when consumed in bed (causing Shelley to tell Sandra she'll join her in a moment - they're lesbian lovers and we briefly see them kiss, but not in the bedroom).
  • While seated at a table, a woman puts her hand on her brother-in-law's clothed crotch.
  • Sandra shows some cleavage.
  • A woman suggestively tells her brother-in-law to "style me" as she has her bare legs wrapped around his clothed waist as he stands. He thinks she means her hair on her head, but she pulls off her clothing to reveal her in a bra and panties (showing cleavage) and then points to her crotch (meaning that's the hair she wants styled). He says he can't be doing anything down there and asks what his brother would think if he finds something in the "love triangle." She then says that according to Robert it's the "bloody Bermuda triangle" and that she wants the brother-in-law to cut it. Later, when asked about that, the woman says that it itches.
  • Some models in the competition show varying amounts of cleavage in their low-cut outfits.
  • We briefly see a full view of a woman's pubic hair - that's dyed orangey-red - as she stands before her husband in a towel or robe.
  • We see most of a woman's bare breasts in her outfit during the last round of the competition (as she's dressed as Nefertiti with her breasts sticking out from her top and just her nipples are covered).
  • We see several views of Sandra's bare breasts (as covered in paint and glitter) as she poses as a model during the last round of the competition.
  • We briefly see Shelley and Sandra kiss.
  • Shelley smokes a few times during the film.
  • We learn that Shelley left Phil for Sandra some ten years ago and that he's cut her off, while her relationship with Brian, her son, is best described as estranged. The two men eventually act differently toward her, especially when they learn about the state of her cancer battle.
  • We also learn that Christine hasn't seen her father in years, and their relationship is tenuous at best.
  • Hairdressers/stylists and the fact that such competitions do exit among them.
  • Cancer, chemotherapy and losing one's hair.
  • Lesbian relationships.
  • An older woman has what appear to be cataracts (her pupils are very cloudy and may confuse some viewers as to what's wrong with them).
  • Although we don't see it, some upset family members of a deceased man (that Brian let Christine practice her hair coloring on), hurt his hand in some way.
  • An older man fires his rifle several times at the Allen family when he believes them to be trespassers or burglars on his property at night (no one is harmed).
  • A man takes an aerosol can and turns it into a flamethrower of sorts with a match or lighter (that he then uses to burn part of the top, bride and groom portion of a model's elaborate hair dressing).

  • Reviewed March 5, 2001 / Posted March 7, 2001

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