Rated R for language and frontal nudity. 1 hour, 34 minutes.
Publication date: Mar. 9, 2001
Review by Susan Tavernetti
She hasn't spoken to her barber husband (Alan Rickman of "Sense and Sensibility") and son (Josh Hartnett of "The Virgin Suicides") in 10 years. That's when she ran off with her husband's hair model (Rachel Griffiths of "Hilary and Jackie") the night before his most important competition on the hairdressing circuit. The national championships offer them a second chance to color, snip and style their way into a better relationship.
Everything about this British import is either superficial or formulaic. Although the heterosexual-lesbian love triangle had interesting angles to plumb, the movie refused to touch them. The same goes for the family dynamics: Mom disappears from the house for a decade, and when she walks back into her husband and son's life, everyone acts as if the stray cat just wandered in. The corpses in the town's mortuary register more emotion.
In conventional fashion, the "Hair Olympics" proceed through four rounds--Lady's Timed Blow Dry, Men's Free-Style, Evening Wear/Evening Hair, and The Total Look--with no tension and few highlights. A cheating arch rival (British comic Ray Roberts) never seems particularly clever nor threatening. And so what if the home team doesn't win the coveted Silver Scissors? The movie doesn't set the bar too low: It's not set at all.
"Blow Dry" is a cut below the usual Miramax release.