Stars: Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, Troy Garity
Director: Tim Story
Screenwriter: Mark Brown, Don D. Scott, Marshall Todd
A delightful comedy-drama set in Chicago’s South Side, Barbershop, soars with personality and good spirit.
Ice Cube plays Calvin Palmer, the owner of a friendly neighborhood barbershop, that seems to have more stylists than it does customers. But it’s a congenial gathering place for conversation and to trade jokes, ideas and complaints and the people who work there have come to rely on it for more than just their measly incomes. The ensemble cast works effortlessly to convey a real kinship between their barbershop chores. They have the writers to thank for their refreshing dialogue.
Among the group: Sean Patrick Thomas as Jimmy Jones, a pseudo-intellectual who’s on everybody’s case about something; Michael Ealy as ex-con Ricky Nash; Leonard Earl Howze as Dinka, a shy, overweight African immigrant in love with fellow stylist Terri Jones (rapper Eve) who’s suffering through a bum relationship of her own; Troy Garity as Isaac Rosenberg, a white homeboy who thinks he’s black. Cedric the Entertainer is a standout as the wise old-timer Eddie who spews hilarious irreverence about black icons from Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Calvin, though, fancies himself a music producer who dreams of building a recording studio in his basement. And although the shop was handed down from two generations of Palmers, Calvin considers it a financial burden and decides to sell the shop to a local loan shark, the flamboyant Lester (Keith David). When he gradually comes to realize the shop’s importance in the community and in maintaining his father’s legacy, he tries to cancel the deal, an option not to Lester’s liking.
A sometimes amusing subplot involves two dopes (Anderson Anderson as J.D. and Lahmard Tate as Billy) trying to break open a stolen ATM machine.
Lotta says: Barbershop is a smart and sassy film with likable characters. It’s rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and brief drug references.