Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
Barbershop (2003)

In the age of photo messaging and web chats, "Barbershop" is a warm-hearted reminder that there's nothing like conversation between real people. The barbershop in question is the perfect place to meet up and chew the fat.

It's therefore no surprise that the film is all about its characters; the five guys and a gal who snip people's barnets for a living - in between bouts of repartee, arguing, and reconfiguring American racial history.

Calvin (Ice Cube) inherited his barbershop from his father but, in an attempt to move with the times and start his own business, sells it to the local loan shark Lester (Keith David). But, as his pregnant wife warned him, Calvin only realises what he's got when it's gone.

Or has it? Calvin has the day to figure out, by fair means or foul, how to buy his family business back and save what has become a community institution. A simple premise which is really an excuse for a series of comic vignettes, in which its too often caricatured participants can air their views.

Terri (Eve) keeps up the female contingent with tons of attitude, while old-timer Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) talks about the old days and controversially undermines black American history - "all Rosa Parks did was sit her black ass down!" - with wicked humour.

It's not hard to see where all this will end but, as unadventurous as they are, the film's stock characters are very appealing, as is the pleasure of eavesdropping on them.

Calvin's shop is a haven for the community, and if you're looking for some old fashioned respite from action blockbusters, then this film's for you.

End Credits

Director: Tim Story

Writer: Mark Brown, Don D Scott, Marshall Todd

Stars: Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve , Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Howze

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Length: 102 minutes

Cinema: 14 March 2003

Country: USA

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