Barbershop – 4 stars

Barbershop is It’s a Wonderful Life updated to modern-day Chicago and with bawdy humor and black people. This is a sharp, feel-good, ultimately sweet movie about tradition and honor and community, yet it never elevates the sermon over the humor and the story, nor does it ever get dour, trying to tackle the “bigger” issues. Very easy to watch, many solid laughs (Cedric the Entertainer as a conservative barber delivers material so priceless that Jesse Jackson mau-mau’ed the producers into an apology). The best thing about Barbershop is that it is a “black” movie, as opposed to a black movie. Like Baby Boy (a film that proved John Singleton had actually grown up), Barbershop makes very critical, non-p.c. observations all in the aid of the joke. Thankfully, however, Lawrence Fishburne is not wheeled in to lecture the barbershop about the white dominant culture or how brothers need to stay with their woman.

Cedric the Entertainer’s best line?

Jesse Jackson? Jesse Jackson? Fu** Jesse Jackson!

It’s all in the delivery.

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