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Blow Dry (2001)

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In 2000, a small town hosts The British Hairdressing Championship, where a former 2-time winner, his son, his run-away wife and his runaway wife's lady lover reside (not all on speaking terms).

Director:

Paddy Breathnach

Writer:

Simon Beaufoy

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Rickman ... Phil Allen
Natasha Richardson ... Shelley Allen
Rachel Griffiths ... Sandra
Rachael Leigh Cook ... Christina Robertson
Josh Hartnett ... Brian Allen
Bill Nighy ... Ray (Raymond) Robertson
Warren Clarke ... Tony
Rosemary Harris ... Daisy
Hugh Bonneville ... Louis
Heidi Klum ... Jasmine
Peter McDonald ... Vincent
Michael McElhatton ... Robert
David Bradley ... Noah
Ben Crompton ... Saul
Ann Rye Ann Rye ... Margaret, Farmer's Wife (as Anne Rye)
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Storyline

The annual British Hairdressing Championship comes to Keighley, a town where Phil and son Brian run a barbershop, and where Phil's ex-wife Shelly and her lover Sandra run a beauty salon, yet Phil and Shelly haven't talked in the ten years since she bolted. Shelley's just found out her cancer is terminal, and Ray Roberts, the reigning underhanded hairdressing champion, blows into town taunting Phil for retreating from competitive styling into barbering. Roberts also brings his daughter, Christina, who remembers Brian from when she was a little kid (as does he her). Everything's set: Brian decides to enter the competition with his mom and Sandra. Will Phil join in? Ray wants to win at any costs. Will Christina go along? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love Is In The Hair See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 2001 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Coup de peigne See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$240,166, 11 March 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$637,769, 8 April 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Later this same year, David Bradley and Alan Rickman will co-star in the first Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" as "Mr. Filch" and "Professor Snape" respectively. See more »

Goofs

While the male audience members are lined up taking discs for the Men's Freestyle, it is first shown that the real model for Raymond's Hair Studio is number two in line right behind Hair Montage's volunteer. The camera cuts away from the line and we hear seven more models being called (including Raymond's "plant" who goes to the Style Warriors) before this man is called and directed to Raymond's Hair Studio. See more »

Quotes

Phil Allen: Just because summat's fixed don't mean you can't break it.
See more »

Connections

References Amadeus (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
Written by Jule Styne / Leo Robin
Published by Dorsey Brothers Music Ltd
Performed by Rachel Griffiths
See more »

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User Reviews

Uplifting, complex, nuanced, unexpected and fresh.
29 January 2004 | by budmasseySee all my reviews

Blow Dry is one of those loopy, quirky British comedies that continue to scream to the deaf ears of Hollywood that humor doesn't have to be infantile, vulgar, sexual, physical, heavy-handed, or banal. It can be uplifting, complex, nuanced, unexpected and fresh.

A small town in England hosts the National Hairdressing Championships, (Do you really think they have one?) and nobody seems too excited about it except a few ruthless competitors to whom winning means absolutely everything. Local boy Alan Rickman, a has been hair wizard now doing "short back and sides" for 7.50 is convinced to enter the competition by his son, his ex-wife and her girlfriend.

Natasha Richardson (daughter of the incomparable Vanessa Redgrave) is brilliant as the terminally ill lesbian mother trying to use the event as a way to reunite her family. Her comedy and her pathos are equally moving, and her beauty isn't spoiled by chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Rachel Griffiths, whom you may remember from the hilarious Australian comedy Muriel's Wedding, is the model who left Rickman for his wife on the eve of his triumph in hairdressing, hence his present low state. Either of these ladies could have carried the movie. To have both of them is a treat of excess.

Rickman is more believable as a barber than a high style hairdresser. Still, he pulls it off because he's Rickman. Much has been made of Josh Hartnett and his murderous accent. In reality, it's hardly noticeable. Get over it.

Bill Nighy is fantastic as the unscrupulous London artiste pulling out all the stops to win the Championship for an unprecedented third time, using his daughter, the insanely beautiful Rachel Leigh Cook, as his model. Rosemary Harris, the perfectly cast Aunt Mae of Spider-man fame, is powerful as the elderly Daisy, confidante and model for Richardson and her team.

The unseen treasure of this movie, and the genius behind it, is writer Simon Beaufoy. Beaufoy grew up in Keighley, the setting of Blow Dry. Until more recently he was probably best known for also writing the hilarious and inspired The Full Monty. As he developed as a writer, he later gave us the Oscar nominated 127 Hours, and Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire.

There is a scene, at the very end, when Rickman reveals his ultimate creation, that has to be seen to be believed. I still gasp every time I see it, and it reinforces for me a notion of beauty that transcends everything from age to gender. And don't miss the end credit sequence. It's hilarious.

Too many movie viewers think being cynical makes them appear more intelligent or more profound, so they slam gems like this for their lighthearted humor. Nonsense. This is a funny 10 out of 10, and if you don't own it, log off right now and go get it. You won't be sorry.


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