Friday, August 3, 2007

The Salon DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Sassy Sisters Trash-Talking Galore at “The Salon”

Ever since the success of Barbershop, Hollywood has been having a love affair with trash-talking black folks’ having their hair done. Besides the brothers in the sequel Barbershop 2, we’ve also seen sisters dishing the dirt in Beauty Shop and Hair Show. And if you’re in need of proof that the genre has been milked dry, may I suggest this derivative flick which is reminiscent of all of the above.
The film opens with an explanation of ghetto grooming ground rules, namely, “Hair is a form of expression in the black community. It doesn’t even have to be your own… Horse hair, camel hair, raccoon hair, whatever. Girlfriend, if you bought it, it’s yours.” Next, we’re introduced to shop owner Jenny (Vivica A. Fox), and the colorful collection of habitués hanging at her hood-based establishment. There’s larger than life Lashaunna (Kym Whitley), a motor-mouthed mama who has nothing nice to say about anybody.
And then there’s D.D. (De’Angelo Wilson), a flamboyant gay, who’s in the picture just to be the butt of meanspirited homophobic threats and teasing. Ricky (Dondre Whitfield) is a player who sleeps with his clients and boasts that he’ll never get caught. Every character is a readily-recognizable, one-dimensional stereotype.
The basic idea, here, is that like a barbershop, a salon is a place where folks feel free to let their hair down, literally and figuratively. Tragically, this translates into referring to blacks by the N-word, to homosexuals by the f-word, and into offensive jokes about Asian accents.
The film bottoms-out when D.D. delivers this cringe-inducing line to another sister: “If you’re going to be a ho, be an ambitious ho. Work uptown.” Despite a talented cast which includes Terrence Howard and Garret Morris, life’s simply too short for slur-ploitation with such lamentably low standards.

Poor (0 star)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, crude humor, mature themes, ethnic and homophobic slurs.
Running time: 99 minutes
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Trailers and previews.

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