Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Hair

There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with Chris Rock’s new documentary vehicle, Good Hair, but there isn’t anything special about it either. People could say I wasn’t interested because I’m not a black female, and I have no idea what it’s like to live with weaves and wigs and hair relaxer and naps and so on. But that’s bullshit. A film is a film; I view each one objectively, no matter what it’s about.

In answer to his daughter’s question: why don’t I have good hair?, Chris Rock set out to trace the history of African American dos. Interviewing a slew of people, celebrities and regular barbershop attendees alike, Rock does his damndest to get a feature film out of a pretty weak premise.

One thing I found interesting: Rock travels to India and discovers that the source for most weaves and wigs is human hair from Hindu women, after shaving their head for God. But even with that information, Rock makes slight of the news by going from hair shop to hair shop trying to sell people “black” hair. The gag is lame, and besides… didn’t Borat already try a variation of the same joke?

I give Rock credit for seeming genuinely interested in what he learns. But I’ve always felt that Chris Rock thinks he is way funnier than he really is. Sure he’s had a few good stand-up specials on HBO, but here his jokes fall flat, and they make for a boring, unnecessary documentary. C-

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