24 September 2013

The Hairdresser

This randomly caught my eye as I was skimming the foreign offerings on Netflix Instant. It is a total charmer. A very pleasant movie about a very large woman who wants to be a hairdresser. When a shop refuses to hire her because of her size, she launches a mission to open her own place next door. It's a feel-good story, but not in a saccharine American way, in a robust, semi-fatalistic European way. Plenty of things go wrong, and life isn't perfect, but by golly, we do the best we can and find pleasure where we may.

It's certainly nice to see a non-typical body type get represented as beautiful (you may quibble with me on this, but I felt that the camera lingered in a matter-of-fact but loving way on her curves). I also particularly appreciated the random appearance of a bunch of illegal immigrants from Vietnam and their effect on the storyline, because I'm a sucker for multiculturalism, and honest portrayals of immigration, and movies where someone encounters a foreign culture and falls in love with it and allows it to change his/her life (see also: The Visitor and Kinamand and if you have others you'd like to recommend, leave a comment. Gosh, I didn't write much about Kinamand, did I? It's funny; I hardly remember the film at all, but I do vaguely have the sense that I felt the same way after watching it as I did after this film - cheerful and content.

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