Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Barbershop

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Profanity:Some strong language for a PG-13
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and situations (mild)
Alcohol/Drugs:Brief drug references
Violence/Scariness:Comic violence
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2002

“Barbershop” is an unassuming ensemble comedy with a surprisingly gentle and heartfelt center. It is impossible not to be charmed by it.

It all takes place on one day as Calvin (Ice Cube), under a lot of financial pressure, decides to sell his family’s barbershop to the local loan shark and then spends the rest of the day trying to raise the money to buy it back. Meanwhile, two other guys from the neighborhood have stolen an ATM machine, and they spend their day hiding it from the police and trying to break it open.

That’s the plot. But this movie is not about the story. It is about the characters and the community. And, as Calvin learns, that’s what life is all about, too. The barbershop plays a central role in the life of the community, a place where people gather to exchange news and views and just enjoy each other’s company. Calvin has some sense of this when he makes the loan shark promise not to change it. But after the deal is done, the loan shark tells him he will keep it the same only on the outside. He plans to turn it into a “gentlemen’s club.”

As the day goes by, and Calvin’s hopes for raising the money dim, he and the audience are treated to the pleasures of conversation will make you wish you could wander into the barbershop and join in.

Cedric the Entertainer plays Eddie, the irascible, seen-it-all-and-knows-it-all senior barber. Rap star Eve plays Terri, who seems equally concerned by her cheating boyfriend and her missing apple juice. A college student (Sean Patrick Thomas) likes to show off his knowledge and brag about his plans for the future. A two-time loser named Ricky (Michael Ealy) has been given a chance at an honest job, but he is immediately suspected in the ATM theft. A Nigerian immigrant named Dinka (Leonard Howze) is trying to learn his way in America (and let Terri know that he likes her). And a white barber (Troy Garrity) is trying to be accepted by the black employees and customers.

Calvin sees that the barbershop is a place where people can find something to be proud of. He has given Ricky a chance at a job and he gives another young man a haircut to give him confidence for an important job interview. Ultimately, Calvin learns that the barbershop has given him something to be proud of, something he will want to pass on to the child he and his wife are expecting as it was passed on to him by his father.

It is great to see Ice Cube in a role that gives him a chance to show what a fine actor he has become. All of the performances are marvelous, with the give and take of the barbershop conversation playing like a series of great jazz riffs. The slapstick story of the ATM thieves is just a distraction (though it helps to tie things up at the end). We want to be where the characters want to be – in the barbershop.

Parents should know that the movie has mature material, including references to adultery and some strong language, including the n-word. Some comments about early civil rights leaders have been very controversial, even prompting calls that they be edited out of the movie. Parents should know that the comments are made by one character and objected to by the other characters, and they may spark the interest of younger viewers to learn more about the people they have heard about in school. In fact, Rosa Parks was not the first person arrested for refusing to give up a seat reserved for whites, but it was her case that led to the historic Montgomery bus boycott. The discussion of her role may lead to a very worthwhile family conversation about the fact that the civil rights movement — and Ms. Parks’ involvement — was far more complex and extensive than they might think after reading one of the “Rosa was tired” books developed for children.

Families who see this movie should talk about the places that serve as the center of their own communities. Where do people go to see each other and find out what is going on? Where do people go when they need a second chance? Where do they go to hang out and talk about whatever comes into their minds? What do you think about the way everyone treated Isaac? Was it fair? Why did he want to be there when no one seemed to want him? Why do you think people who heard about the movie got so upset over Eddie’s comments?

People who enjoy this movie will also enjoy another movie with great scenes of people just hanging out and talking, “Diner.” They will also enjoy Ice Cube’s fine performances in “Boyz N the Hood” and “Three Kings” (all for mature audiences).



Previous Posts

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang -- Beyonce, Cher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jesse J
Two hit tunes from the hottest pop divas are both called "Bang Bang."  One is Beyoncé's sultry, glamorous cover of the Cher oldie in this teaser for her HBO special. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WebQaN7Lbs[/youtube] Ariana Grande, Jesse J, and Nicki Minaj have an unrelated song

posted 9:00:40am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Hey Arnold! The Complete Series
The football-headed Arnold and all his pals are here in this box set with all 99 adventures from the beloved Nickelodeon series. It's available exclusively at Walmart, but I have a copy to give away! Send

posted 12:20:14pm Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Dylan Brody on Comedy, Depression, and Robin Williams
Dylan Brody is a comedy writer and stand-up performer dubbed "brilliant" by Robin Williams.  It was Williams' tragic suicide that inspired Brody to write a moving essay about his own struggles wit

posted 8:06:10am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Opera Flash Mob at a London Grocery Store
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/44UC6muN8KY" frameborder="0"] Sacla staged an impromptu Opera in the food aisles of a London grocery store. They planted five secret opera singers who were disguised as casual shoppers and store staff amongst the groceries who bro

posted 8:00:13am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Juliette Lewis in "Kelly and Cal"
Juliette Lewis stars as a rocker-turned suburban mother of a newborn in "Kelly and Cal."  Here she tries to make friends with the other mothers, who treat her like mean girls shooing off a freshman who wants to sit at the cool table. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/

posted 6:00:09am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.