Total Film - 04/01/2001
"...[Breathnach] pulls off some great character moments..."
Variety - 03/12/2001
"...[Cook] plays well opposite the always thoughtful and subtle Harnett..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2001
"...BLOW DRY scores with shrewdly observed detail, a good line in laconic northern humour...and a strong cast getting their teeth into well-drawn characters..."
The British Hairdressing Championship is coming to the small Yorkshire town of Keighley. The Mayor (Warren Clarke) is ecstatic--but initially the townspeople are underwhelmed. The exotic models and their even more exotic hairdressers arrive--among them reigning champion, Ray Robertson (Bill Nighy). The Mayor is disappointed when there is no local entry, especially since Keighley is the hometown of ex-champion, Phil Allen (Alan Rickman). But, Phil stopped competing when his model, Sandra (Rachel Griffiths), ran off with his wife, Shelley (Natasha Richardson). Shelley has cancer, and discovering it is terminal, she tries to reunite her family--Phil, their son Brian (Josh Hartnett), and Sandra--by entering the competition. Phil refuses. However, needled by the confident Ray, Brian enters on behalf of the family. Soon, they are cutting hair together again.
Director Paddy Breathnach maintains the delicate balance between the pathos of Shelley's illness and the breathtaking flamboyance of the hairdressing competition, as it goes from outrageous camp to gorgeous fulfillment. Alan Rickman is splendid--especially when the phlegmatic Phil returns to competition with flashing scissors and tattooed feet. Natasha Richardson is touching as she fights to regain her family. And Rachel Griffiths gives a powerful performance, apparently in support, until she becomes the family's fabulous golden angel.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
Starring Rachael Leigh Cook (SHE'S ALL THAT), Josh Hartnett (PEARL HARBOR), and Alan Rickman (GALAXY QUEST) in a great ensemble cast -- the Academy Award(R)- nominated writer of THE FULL MONTY has crafted a hilarious story about the things everyone wants in life: love, happiness, and great hair! As the National Hair Championships descend upon a small town in England, the country's top stylists aren't expecting much from the local talent. But they didn't count on Phil Allen (Rickman), the retired golden boy of the competition circuit, entering the fray! Also starring Natasha Richardson (THE PARENT TRAP), Rachel Griffiths (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING), and supermodel Heidi Klum -- laugh along as the locals dazzle the out-of-towners with some hair dos ... and don'ts.