Review: The Salon
What unfortunate timing, given the whole Don Imus controversy.
Despite a talented cast which includes Terrence Howard and Garret Morris, lifeâ€™s simply too short for slur-ploitation with such lamentably low standards.
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 Barbershop 2, we’ve also seen sisters dishing the dirt in Beauty Shop and Hair Show. If you’re in need of proof that the genre has been milked dry, may I suggest The Salon, a derivative flick which is reminiscent of all of the above.
The film opens interestingly enough, with an explanation of the ghetto grooming ground rules. “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 familiar stereotypes 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, whose presence in the picture is justified by his willingness 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 readily-recognizable and one-dimensional.
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 people referring to Black people by the N-word, homosexuals by the f-word, and making offensive comments about Asians mixing their ‘l’s and ‘r’s. And so forth.
The film bottoms-out when D.D. offers these encouraging words to an aspiring prostitute: “If you’re going to be a ho, be an ambitious ho. Work uptown.” What unfortunate timing, given the whole Don Imus controversy.
Despite a talented cast which includes Terrence Howard and Garret Morris, life’s simply too short for slur-ploitation with such lamentably low standards.
To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com
“Speaking Truth To Empower.”