Though there’s not enough hair in the hood to keep his father’s business afloat, Calvin’s (Ice Cube) barbershop serves its function as south Chicago’s gossip hub. The staff of six has been aged to archetypal perfection: Dinka (Leonard Howze) represents all fat brothers; Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas) has a bourgeois head waiting to explode; Ricky (Michael Ealy) is one strike away from the slammer; Isaac (Troy Garity) is super-fly for a white guy; Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) is old-school; and Terri (Eve) wants a little bit of r-e-s-p-e-c-t for her bottle of apple juice. When the barbershop faces foreclosure, Calvin sells it to a smarmy loan shark for $20,000 only to want it back when he learns just how important the place is to the community. A stolen ATM provides ample points of comic diversion though it’s mainly an excuse to give Ricky a strike-three and a way for Calvin to pay his bills. In the end, it’s all about the goings-on inside the barbershop: sisters learn not to slam doors; egos are deflated; and history gets a major beat down. “Where else can you talk straight?” says Eddie when he downplays Rosa Parks’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. Barbershop is a vaudeville display of ethnic pride; it’s ennobled by its simplicity but it offers nothing daring or refreshing on the topic of race or civic relations. Cedric the Entertainer weasels himself into the lead role with very mixed (mostly negative) results. The rest of the cast does its best with heart-of-gold material seemingly culled from a season’s worth of What’s Happening? episodes.
- Tim Story
- Mark Brown, Don D. Scott, Marshall Todd
- Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Keith David, Lahmard Tate, Jazsmin Lewis, Tom Wright, Jason George, DeRay Davis, Sonya Eddy, Cedric the Entertainer
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