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STUDIO: Fox Home Entertainment
RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes
“It’s like one of Aesop’s fables, but we replaced moral merit with Stacey Dash’s finely-toned body.”
Tatyana Ali, Stacey Dash, Bobby Brown, Mekhi Phifer.
There’s this hair salon, right? And some people work there. One person doesn’t want to work there, and she’s a real bitch, okay? Then they all learn a valuable life lesson! Brought to you by www.blackchristianmovies.com!
If you buy that a thousand monkeys typing on a thousand typewriters must eventually produce Shakespeare, then what would happen if you broke those monkeys’ fingers? My theory is that they would immediately produce a work superior in quality to Nora’s Hair Salon 2. Thus, in a cost/benefit analysis, mutilating monkeys is a solid option.
Foolishly, the producers of Nora’s Deuce instead went the traditional route of independents, writing the screenplay themselves. They probably had to eat and pay rent during that time. Big waste of money. Theoretical monkeys don’t need to eat; they just need to type. And bleed, I guess. That’s all cheap as can be. Plus, I know for a fact that flinging poo at each other is as free as the air.
I’m not even going to try picking at the dozens of terrible lines that clutter the progress of the story, because that would be like complaining about a touch of yellow snow at the forefront of the avalanche bearing down on me. The plot itself is a wretched mish-mash of racial and sexual stereotypes, trite morality, authorial wish fulfillment, convenient twists, and gibberish.
The shallow morality fascinates me the most out of that list. It’s the least offensive and — assuming that Christianity of some stripe has a claim on the movie — the most important to the agenda of the filmmakers. Let me trace it for you, briefly:
Tatyana Ali co-owns a salon with Stacey Dash, and also has a hot doctor for a boyfriend. Stacey Dash wants to sell her half of the salon. The hot doctor dares to suggest that Tatyana Ali might improve as a mother after she sent her son to school without his inhaler. Tatyana Ali then has a breakdown and is saved from her deep depression by Mekhi Phifer, a hot doctor of anthropology who appreciates her for who she is. Then Stacey Dash has a change of heart and, instead of selling her half of the salon, invests more money into it. I hope Tatyana Ali learned her lesson.
Wait. What? The only person who comes close to having a transition of character is Stacey Dash, and her great revelation is that she doesn’t want to be a jerk. That’s a plain, shallow moral. Nice and simple. But Stacey Dash is not the protagonist of the story, so Tatyana Ali’s involvement turns that shallow morality into an Escher print wherein a shallow stream flows confoundingly uphill. I suppose I could argue that the rewards which pile upon Tatyana are the result of her general humility and bland characterization. I bet Jesus loves plain oatmeal, too.
Of course, I’m inferring a lot here, since there’s no actual mention of Christianity or Christian behavior in the film itself, barring a pair of bookend scenes which completely stand apart from the rest of the plot and turn my general disinterest of the flick into a genuine dislike. In those scenes, a pair of flamboyantly gay dudes involved with the salon visit a fellow in a clerical collar in some church’s sanctuary. (Having not seen the original movie, I have no idea who this character is, or why he matters.) The first scene frames the rest of the story as these fabulous guys relating the events to Mr. Pastor. The last scene has Delicious, the more outspoken of the happy couple, trying to convince Mr. Pastor to return to the fold. The gay fold, presumably.
The response? Mr. Pastor declares that he enjoyed that life, but that he “enjoys God more.” And there’s God with the left hook to the heathens! Whammo! Try and get up from that. The weirdest thing (possibly) is that there’s no real condemnation of homosexuality anywhere else in the movie, and, discarding those framing scenes, the characters are inclusive of race and sexual preference without judgment. Of course, they are written as exaggerated forms of the “harmless” bigotry that everyone — just everyone — practices. I doubt you’ll be surprised if I tell you this isn’t the only hypocrisy on display.
Still, boring hypocrisy isn’t much worth highlighting. What else is there? Acting? Decent, apart from a few flubbed lines that were mysteriously kept in the final cut. Directing? Invisible. Writing? Here, I’ve got this typescript filled with unpronounceable consonants I’d like you to consider. Never mind the bloodstains.
I’m faintly puzzled by this movie. It would be offensive if I were a knee-jerk atheist or Rand-lover, but to anyone outside of those groups it’s just white noise. I’d say “fuck this movie,” except that’s a bit more of an emotional response than it deserves. Maybe if it was with disinterest, while preoccupied with something more important. Like taxes. Yeah.
Fuck this movie while finishing your taxes.
“www.blackchristianmovies.com, my son.”
A trailer. Hell, even my package is bigger than that. And I have a condition.
Hey! guess what the two points in the score are for.