A day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop.
Release Year: 2002
Rating: 6.2/10 (13,005 voted)
Critic's Score: 66/100
Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve
A day in the life of a barbershop on the south side of Chicago. Calvin, who inherited the struggling business from his deceased father, views the shop as nothing but a burden and waste of his time. After selling the shop to a local loan shark, Calvin slowly begins to see his father's vision and legacy and struggles with the notion that he just sold it out. The barbershop is filled with characters who share their stories, jokes, trials and tribulations. In the shop we find Eddie, an old barber with strong opinions and no customers. Jimmy is a highly educated barber with a superiority complex who can't stand Isaac, the new, white barber who just wants a shot at cutting some hair. Ricky is an ex-con with two strikes against him and is desperately trying to stay straight. Terri is a hard-edged woman who can't seem to leave her two-timing boyfriend. And lastly there's Dinka, a fellow barber who is madly in love with Terri but doesn't get the time of day.
Writers: Mark Brown, Mark Brown
Cedric the Entertainer
Sean Patrick Thomas
Leonard Earl Howze
Lahmard J. Tate
(as Lahmard Tate)
Everyone's gettin' lined up.
Release Date: 13 September 2002
Filming Locations: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $20,627,433
(15 September 2002)
(24 November 2002)
Did You Know?
The cast spent a month training at a barber college to prepare for their roles. Only Troy Garity had had previous hair-cutting experience.
Just before Eddie is about to defame the name of Jesse Jackson, the mailman in the scene is seen wearing his post office issued hat. As the scene cuts to Checker Fred and then back to Eddie, you see the mailman place his hat on his head and leave out of the Barbershop.
This is who I am. And whether you believe it or not, I'm gonna be like this tomorrow.
A 'black' film with a soul. It can be done
When I first saw the plot and cast for this movie I was filled with
little hope that this film would be any more than a stereotypical look
at black/urban culture with the characters rhyming words for supposed
comic effect ad the scriptwriter fitting a screenplay around the jokes.
It us easy to forget that the film's protagonist, Ice Cube (who gave a
fine performance) had just come off making the awful 'All About the
Benjamins' which fell into the trap of so many of these comedies based
around black people. Added to the fact that 'Barbershop' was released
when there had been a spate of these sub-standard pictures such as 'How
High', Friday After Next' and 'State Property', you can understand why
I approached this movie with no expectations.
Thankfully I was proved wrong as 'Barbershop' followed a simple
structure to work. It had solid direction, a commendable screenplay,
was well acted but more important than any of that, it was a story
worth telling and that is the one thing that good films have in common.
However, this does not mean that this movie followed the conventional
ways of Hollywood and 'sold out' to appeal to a mass audience. If
anything pleased me most about the film it was the fact that it
retained a true sense of representing the black community and credit
for this goes to the high standards of dialogue and acting. People who
live in the suburbs can watch in the knowledge that they're getting a
window into another culture, while people in urban communities can
watch this with a comforting sense of familiarity. Another reason for
this is that the screenplay is informed enough to not 'pigeon hole'.
The characters are well rounded, with both positive and negative traits
and the movie is not surrounded by guns,single mothers and drugs. This
is not not to say these issues are ignored, as they are connected with
one the film's major plot strands but despite the mass media sterotype
(to which not all black people are unaccountable) the 'ghettos' of
America are primarily filled with honest, hard-working people who just
trying to make the best of an unenviable situation. While previous
urban films have made a point of blaming 'whitey' and 'the man' for the
troubling issues surrounding black people, 'Barbershop' looks closer to
home and encourages black people to take responsibility for themselves
and to break away from nature of 'frontin' that is slowly paralysing
urban communities. One of the films best quotes is 'Dont buy yourself a
Benz when your living with your mama! And black people; please can we
be on time for something other than free before 10 at the club'. I
think this is a wonderful statement and it encourages black people to
reject the notion of style over content as that is what the film does
Added to this the well-rounded nature of the film is a diatribe from
Cedric The Entertainer (who's performance is almost as hilarious as his
stand-up act) about black icons such as Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and
Martin Luther King. This is probably the most provocative section of
the film and initially made me question the validity of these icons but
after reflection, it made me realized that even Martin Luther King was
a human being with flaws but that doesn't take away from his legacy.
Regardless what's been said about Jesse Jackson he's still the first
black man to run for President and nothing will ever take that away
While Cedric the Entertainer took most of the acting plaudits, this was
a great ensemble piece that was well acted all round. My only gripe is
that why can't other films of this nature stay true to black culture
but also have a cinematic soul