Movie pickings continue to be very lackluster and spotty, so I had to resort to finding the non-horror, Sci-Fi, animated movie with the highest metric critic rating on moviefone.com.
The ratings were all sub 50 and I was seriously thinking of skipping movie day and taking a nap. Then I stumbled upon "Barbershop 2 - the Next Cut" which had a decent rating (I had initially skipped over as I'm not a big fan of sequels).
But the # was the # and so I went to see this film knowing zip about the this film or the earlier ones.
Set in South Side Chicago in a barber shop (mens) on one side and a salon (ladies) on the other in one big open space. Each group stayed generally on their own side but all knew each other well and were generally civilly jawing back and forth stinging (teasing) each other. The entire establishment is called Calvin's Barbershop and they clearly were all good friends.
So lots of group conversations and nobodies business stayed private which made for engaging dialog. Lots of well known African American actors & entertainers in this film which added to the movie's punch - Common, Cedric the Entertainer, Ice Cube (Calvin), Nicki Minaj. The story line focused about how these life long neighborhood residents could keep themselves and their families safe in a part of Chicago which was exploding with violence, crime, shootings and death.
One only has to listen to the news reports the last few years to know that his story line of Chicago violence/murders is dead on. The barbershop/salon team decide to work a 48 cease fire with the head of the 2 local gangs (who they know) and give 48 hours of free haircuts, styling etc.
Plenty of side stories that actually work to reinforce the many hurdles that this community faces at work, at school, at home, on the streets and in society living in that part of Chicago.
This movie I really liked and felt empathy towards the journey that so many of characters followed to stay local in this declining life long neighborhood while while balancing safety and economic success. Yes there are funny scenes and serious scenes (little violence or sex) while the conversations reign and work well. I enjoyed.