“Hairdo U” is a small, mild urban comedy from St. Louis about a pair of gruff construction workers who, for reasons too contrived to recount here, get arrested for tossing a gay beauty school teacher through the window of a hair salon. The duo avoid jail time but, in a legal action unique to comedy films, get a lengthy spell of community service at the beauty school where the attack took place. As their cosmetology studies get under way, the construction workers find themselves part of a new family full of hot babes, a few flaming
queens, and a spirit to make sure the beauty school wins top honors at an upcoming cosmetology competition. One of the construction workers also gets “advice” from the resident queers on how to win the affection of a comely young beautician who is currently the main squeeze of the local Mr. Wrong.
Needless to say, none of “Hairdo U” makes the least bit of sense.
Sadly, writer/director Dee Ross McKissic never pushes the film to the
boundaries of political incorrectness and blatant rudeness. Instead, the film plays it safe by keeping its bad manners in check and settling for a few obvious African-American female stereotypes (the Bible-thumper with an armload of Watchtower-worthy literature, the BBW with a constant supply of greasy fried chicken in her clutches) and the obvious wispy-lispy homosexual hairdresser finger-snappers (although one of the queens has a butch, rough-trade boyfriend with enough muscle and fury to KO Lennox Lewis with a finger flick).
But if “Hairdo U” never soars and roars, it does ramble along at a
pleasant and leisurely pace which never once wears out its welcome and actually offers an occasional jolly surprise (a great sight gag involves a fish-loving reverend whose resemblance to Al Sharpton is more than passing). Furthermore, it is blessed with an attractive and game cast who keep the film in motion despite the oddest of plotline twists (i.e., just why is the squeenie beauty school teacher leading an aerobics class for “butt exercises”?) And while the film has a few too many cutaways to a radio booming the sexy voice of a local lady deejay commenting on the characters at play, the radio cutaways also provide a nice cue to a fun soundtrack of the talented St. Louis-area urban music scene.