Well, with one cancer diagnosis and one death in the first 15 minutes, Blow Dry is hardly the feel-good romance you'd expect. Strikingly similar to The Big Tease, Blow Dry tells the story of a haircutting competition that descends on a small town in Britain. Celebrities (well, celebrity stylists) from around England arrive to compete, and the local boys get into the act as well. But while the drama unfolds with models and shears, another drama takes place among the locals -- largely involving various romances and a singular cancer victim.
Filled with some good actors -- Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson, Rachel Griffiths -- and some okay ones -- Hartnett and Cook -- I was expecting a lot more from Blow Dry. Alas, the material just isn't up to par, leaving the real Brits flailing for inspiration and the American posers sporting some of the worst phony British accents ever: Cook doesn't even try in most of her scenes. [Note: A faithful reader writes to tell me that Cook's character isn't supposed to be British, she's American. He also suggests I watch the film again to see for myself... a prospect which sounds to awful to bear.]
The hairstyles are alternately lovely and laughable, as is the sentiment in the film as a whole. It's an okay time made tolerable largely by Warren Clarke's semi-smarmy and overtly proud mayor.
Hiding from the critics.
Run time: 94 mins
In Theaters: Friday 30th March 2001
Box Office Worldwide: $637.8 thousand
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 52
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy
Starring: Alan Rickman as Phil Allen, Josh Hartnett as Brian Allen, Natasha Richardson as Shelley Allen, Heidi Klum as Jasmine, Rachael Leigh Cook as Christina Robertson, Rachel Griffiths as Sandra, Bill Nighy as Ray (Raymond) Robertson, Warren Clarke as Tony, Rosemary Harris as Daisy, Hugh Bonneville as Louis, Peter McDonald as Vincent, Michael McElhatton as Robert, David Bradley as Noah, Ben Crompton as Saul, Ann Rye as Margaret, Farmer's Wife