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If one were to judge the comedic or acting abilities of Craig Ferguson by
his work on "The Drew Carey Show", he could easily be overlooked, passed
over, or lumped in with the stereotypically smarmy and scenery-chewing
English supporting character types like Christopher Hewitt (tv's Mr.
Belvedere), and Daniel Davis (Butler Niles on "The Nanny).
Don't be misled. Ferguson, who is HORRIBLE on Drew Carey, is every bit as wonderful in this smart, well acted, clever and sweet mockumentary which is surprisingly not a Christpher Guest production, and luckily with no Eugene Levy in sight!
This film is a surprise, it's a sleeper, and probably did 0 box office in the US, but, give yourself a treat. Rent it, preferably with a roomful of good humored friends. An instant party!
I loved "The Big Tease." I have watched it several times, and find it more entertaining each time. I recently read a quote of Craig Ferguson's in a Reel.com interview, saying that the movie somewhat parallels his experience in Hollywood. He said, "it is an exact mirror image of the show business that I know. I believe that the story in the movie is my story in America," and when asked how Crawford's experience in America paralleled with his own, Craig replied, "It's exactly the same...it is very similar to my own experience. That is where the story comes from." I watched the movie today for the first time since reading these comments, which Craig made about 7 years ago, and find that there are more similarities than he could have foreseen at the time. Part of the sharp satire on insider Hollywood revolves around getting a break because of whom you know. In the movie, Crawford comes to L.A. as a well-established hairstylist in Scotland (the "Red Adair of hair"), and manages to connect with the right people, beginning with Eamon the limo driver and Candy the publicist, which in turn leads to a series of connections with other key people and opportunities: an amusement park animal costume fur-dressing gig, the continuing antagonistic yet crucial interactions with Monique and Stig, a lunch date with Drew Carey that takes Crawford's credibility to the next level, and a meeting with the Senator who finally allows him to compete in the W.H.I.F Hair-Off. Throughout these events and introductions, Crawford must pay his dues, often feeling humiliated in the process, yet always managing to make the best of the situation. I don't pretend to know all the details of Craig's rise to fame, but he was already an established comedian well-known in the U.K., then came to the U.S. and obscurity. After paying his dues here and there, he got a break as Mr. Wick on "The Drew Carey Show." Drew Carey is the equivalent of Candy in this movie, giving stability to Craig's career, and enough required time on the set but not in front of the camera to begin writing, thus marking his breakthrough into the roles of writer, producer, and finally director with the critically acclaimed "I'll Be There." Craig Ferguson's big break as host of CBS's "The Late Late Show" is similar to Crawford's walk-on success in the competition for the Platinum Scissors award. Craig has not yet been crowned the king of late-night, but I have a feeling that some of the other late-night hosts are feeling very much the same as the other three Hair-Off competitors, wondering, "Who is this Scottish guy, and who could have guessed he had so much talent?" One interesting scene in particular shows the obvious pride Crawford feels when he finally obtains his H.A.G. card, a pride which Craig will soon share when he obtains a U.S. passport upon becoming a citizen of his adopted country. The parallels to Craig's current situation are easy to see, and I think that "The Big Tease" may portend the huge success that Craig has yet to attain in Hollywood and with the ranks of late-night fans. Like Crawford, Craig is determined to reach the pinnacle of his profession, and he has forced industry insiders to sit up and take notice of him. Just like Crawford, Craig was born to this.
I love this movie so much. It has such a funny plot line and the writing is so good (Craig Ferguson, the star, wrote it). This is one of the best faux documentary movies I've ever seen. I think it also has a sweet little story about fulfilling your dreams and I love the ending. I'm also a big fan of Craig Ferguson's other work, like Saving Grace. If you liked this, I would reccomend that as well.
If you stick with it this is a very funny film. Don't be put off by the plot - a misguided Scotsman attempts to crash a mythical hairdressing Olympics. It's a very human comedy about identity and self-worth. Filmed in a documentary style, which takes a few scenes to get used to, it really only hits its stride when the hero Crawford lands in the US. From there it works very well, tilting at various American showbiz windmills. I saw one of the co-stars, Mary McCormack, recently in "High Heels and Lowlifes", and surfing her name in the database reminded me of this little gem. If it's in your local video store, and you enjoyed Spinal Tap or Local Hero, you should try it.
Unjustly obscure, this mock-umentary is certainly not revolutionary film making or Oscar material, but it does offer gentle laughs and some amusing performances and visuals. Ferguson stars (and appears in virtually every scene) as a Scottish hairdresser who gets a letter inviting him to an international hair styling competition in Los Angeles. This is cause for Langham to film a BBC documentary on him and much of the film is from that perspective (although Ferguson also narrates in blurbs filmed after the event.) Falling somewhere in between the lame "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and the sublime "Best in Show", the film is full of odd situations and the infectious charm of Ferguson as he sets out to win top honors. Needless to say, if Ferguson weren't entertaining the film would be sunk. Thankfully, he is delightful throughout. Fisher, though less endearing, also provides nice support for him. Several excellent comedic performers pop up along the way, notably the bizarre and side-splitting Miller as a harried hotel manager. Rasche sinks humorously into his role as Ferguson's chief competitor. McCormack, a very attractive young lady, perfectly captures the phony, insincere aspects of the contest organizer. And any film that even briefly utilizes the untapped charms of McGinley can't be all bad. Home video viewers may need to use subtitles to catch all of the remarks as the authentic Scottish accents are sometimes hard to completely understand. Some real life hair professionals appear, but star cameos are minimal. Carey inexplicably shows up as himself, but with a full head of hair. Hasselhoff comes off amusingly as himself. Crosby, an actress who always could have used a good stylist, appears briefly as a demonstration assistant. One quibble: If the film was going to be rated R anyway, why not show more of the lead's physical assets. What's shown is great, but all too brief. On it's own little terms, this is a charming and fun movie.
"The Big Tease" is an under-rated, genuinely funny, and intelligently made film about a dauntless Scottish hair stylist, Crawford Mackenzie, and his quest for the globally coveted Platinum Scissors Award. A tour de force by Furgeson, the film delivers plenty of wry British humor and less subtle American hilarity with warmth and coherence, develops it's unlikely centerpiece (Mackenzie), sticks faithfully to it's plot, and builds to satisfying and very funny climax.
The documentary filmmaker Martin Samuels joins Scottish hairdresser Crawford
Mackenzie as he sets out for LA to take part in the Platinum Scissors
Hairdressing competition. On arrival he runs up a large hotel bill before
discovering that his `invitation' is not to compete but to attend in the
audience. Out of his hotel and out of money, Crawford tries to get into the
competition and wins over the trend setters of Beverly Hills and, with a
little bit of luck and deceit tries to work his way into the
I had never heard of this film prior to it's TV premier in the UK, I imagine it's the same with a lot of people it's a British comedy but it never managed to get the same high profile as more notable successes. However this is not to take from this film as it is pretty funny and gently amusing. The plot is nonsense but I think that is the point it's is increasingly absurd just like the actual competition and Hollywood lifestyle that Crawford finds himself thrust into. The comedy is rarely hilarious but it is consistently funny nonetheless being more amusing than rip-roaring. The sheer wit and energy of the film manages to carry it over the odd dry spell.
Ferguson is suitably flaming as Crawford and is sweetly naïve for the most part. Langham is very dry as Samuels and I wanted him to have more screen time than he did many other mock-documentaries have successfully made much better use of the dry humour of the interviewer. The support cast are good on the whole and don't mind making fun of themselves. Rasche is good as the two-faced Stig. While comedy cameos from Drew Carey and David Hasselhoff work well. Miller is always value for money and is good in his brief scene.
Overall this is a nice short little comedy that is lively and absurd. It is rarely hilarious but you'll watch it with a consistent smile on your face. Perfect if you're in a silly mood and looking for something with a bit of fizz.
I found this film to be rather unique. It wasn't too 'mockumentary' but it wasn't exactly a beautifully edited screen play either. It took a while to get used to the pace, but then its merits shined through. I love subtle humour, and the thought that went into those adhoc comments and little facial expressions made it extremely funny. (Check out Martin's face when Crawford refuses to talk about his childhood) The storyline and ending maybe predictable, but aren't they all? Definitely worth a giggle. Oh . . .and any movie with a kilt scene can't be wrong now, can it?
No one will mistake this as art, or even a mainstream film. But what it is is fun, campy and entertaining. The stereotypes are plentiful, and so are a few belly laughs. Not the best movie I've seen this month, but far from the worst. See it for what it is, light and fun with a few jabs at the hairdressing work.
Sweet film about a Scottish hair dresser (Craig Ferguson) who makes the big
move to California in order to compete for the coveted "king" barber title
(the film has an actual name for it but I don't remember). Ferguson is quite
funny and Drew Carey turns up as himself in a rather likable
Overall this is nothing particularly special, stuff like this has been done before, but anyone who likes sweet-natured comedies should definitely see this. There isn't a cruel piece of celluloid around this movie!
I'd give it about 3.5/5 stars.
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