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BEAUTY SHOP

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Yup, Bille Woodruff's ensemble comedy is pretty much a girl version of Barbershop. Queen Latifah buys a rundown parlor in Atlanta, and with the help of the sassy crew, succeeds in 'dos and don'ts -- as in "don't count her out." Alicia Silverstone has the thankless role as the token white girl who wants to be hip hop; Kevin Bacon slums as a sleazy Eurotrash stylist. The plot is mostly trifling, though it aims to hit solid notes about perseverance and community. While Beauty dishes up plenty of cracks, they're fairly mild or tired (bad hair, good sex and big booty). The films' best laughs come from "serious" actress Alfre Woodward, who plays an Afro-centric hairburner who's always got a moment for an overly dramatic Maya Angelou recitation. But the film's real audience pleaser -- ripples of admiration ran through the theater -- was discovering what a buff torso Djimon Hounsou has. Starts Wed., March 30.

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