If you’re a sucker for feel-good realistic movies based on a small business workplace scenario, you must be a big fan of the barbershop series. Barbershop is a comedy-drama series that premiered in the cinemas in 2002 and was an instant box office hit, with positive reviews from both critics and audiences. It’s based on a barbershop in Southside Chicago with a clash of ambition and cultural themes. The great success of Barbershop gave rise to a sequel soon after and a spin-off in 2005 called the Beauty Shop, starring Queen Latifah as Gina.
Beauty Shop (2005), directed by Bille Woodruff, finds Gina working as a stylist in a beauty shop in Atlanta. Although highly ambitious and considered one of the best stylists in Atlanta, Gina feels let down by her self-absorbed glamor boy boss, Jorge. She detests everything about Jorge from his attitude, management style, and disrespect and soon quits to start her own salon at a rundown store. She starts well with unwavering support from her co-workers. However, she soon discovers that running a salon business comes with unique challenges not anticipated before. She has to dabble between her life as a single parent and effectively managing her salon business.
The Barbershop Films in Order
The Barbershop films tell a continuous story centered around Calvin Palmar Jr. (Ice Cube) and his inherited Barbershop in Southside Chicago. Other than the beauty shop spin-off and a television series, there are three barbershop movies to date. To enjoy the barbershop films even better, it’s recommended to watch them following their release order. We’ve outlined an overview of each below (spoiler alert);
- Barbershop (2002): Calvin (Ice Cube) inherits a struggling barbershop business from his father and views the shop as nothing but a liability and waste of his precious time. He sells it discreetly to a loan shark, Lester, who plans to turn it into a strip club. However, Calvin reflects on his decision a day after selling the shop and realizes its role for his family and neighborhood and plans on getting it back.
- Barbershop 2: Back In Business (2004): The movie is a sequel to the first Barbershop and centers around Calvin (Ice Cube) and his employees; Isaac, Terri, Ricky, Dinka, and Kenard, and their personal and workplace challenges. A new barbershop and competitor, Nappy Cutz, has just set up shop in their street, posing a real threat to Calvin’s shop. Calvin and his crew face tough decisions to mitigate the imminent threats and avoid being forced out of business.
- Barbershop 3: The Next Cut (2016): 12 years have passed, and the movie finds Calvin in a merger with a new beauty salon next door. He now has to co-manage the famous Barbershop, and while everything seems fine at first, it’s not long before trouble beckons, throwing all the neighbors in. They now have to find a way around the newfound challenges to protect the neighborhood, and this sees Calvin teaming up once more with his crew.
How Different from the Barbershops is Beauty Shop?
Beauty Shop is more of a spin-off of the Barbershop movies than a sequel and comes off as its feminine rendition. The inclusion of Gina (Queen Latifah) from the 1st sequel of Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, shows that the movie happens in the same world, just in different cities and settings. Gina finds herself moving to Atlanta to enroll her daughter in a prestigious music school and starts a new job as a hairstylist in a popular high-end European-style salon owned by Jorge. There are many parallel similarities between Barbershops and Beauty shops. The most notable is the overall cast formula, where you find Queen Latifah as a feminine embodiment of the Brabershop’s Ice Cube.
Like Barbershop, Beauty Shop is fun to watch, and you get to see how different personalities in the characters interact by working and clashing with each other. However, despite all the similarities between Barbershop and Beauty Shop, you might have realized in your reflection that the general feel is way different. This is primarily due to the stark differences in the moods contributed by the distinct nature of conversations and discussions between the two premises. The script around Beauty Shop may not be that strong compared to Barbershop, but the solid cast and outstanding performances by Queen Latifah and her team make it worthwhile and fun to watch. It encompasses the true qualities of hardworking women in relatable circumstances trying their best to survive and win against whatever odds life presents them.