Movie Review By Heather Clisby
If ever you've had a hair thing or even a hankering for the roguish Scottish accent, you should make an appointment for "The Big Tease", a new comedy starring Craig Ferguson as Crawford Mackenzie, a Glasgow hairdresser who believes he's been invited to compete in the World Freestyle Hairdressing Championship in glittering Los Angeles. With his eye on the Platinum Scissors Award, Mackenzie sets off with documentary film crew in tow to reach the dizzy heights of hairdressing.
What the dauntless Scot does not know is that he's merely been invited as an observer. This he discovers after several days of living large at the Century Plaza Hotel at what he believes is the expense of the World International Hairdressing Federation. The remote control drapes seem too good to be true because, well, they are.
Crawford Mackenzie is nothing if not persistent. The fact that he's talented, charming and good-looking means nothing in cold-hearted L.A. - a city that lives to gives birth to dreams so it can turn around and slaughter them. He practically stalks Monique, played in perfect uppity-snippety style by Mary McCormack, the WIHF's not-so-human face. It's amazing to watch her perky mouth go from genuine warm smile to genuine terse pucker within seconds.
With nothing to go on but the fact that he once styled Sean Connery's mannish mane, Mackenzie goes about barging his way into salons along Rodeo Drive and chasing agents around town. He finally strikes gold with Candy Harper, a tough ball-busting agent representing the likes of Sean Connery, who does not appear as himself, and David Hasselhoff, who does.
Played with strong maternal sexuality by Frances Farmer, Candy (after getting a much-improved makeover from the yummy Scot) joins Team Mackenzie as marionette, pulling strings right and left to get him in the game.
What Cinderella story would be complete without the evil stepmother? This time it's international world hairdressing champion, Stig Ludwiggsen, a smarmy mixture of Don Johnson, Fabio and Hulk Hogan all rolled into one mean Swede. The fact that David Rasche, who plays Stig, not a very good actor makes it just that much easier to hate him.
No matter there is plenty here to love. There's also fun cameos by Bruce Jenner, Veronica Webb, Cathy Lee Crosby ('That's Incredible!') and Drew Carey.
Self-described as "Rocky in curlers", "The Big Tease" is more forgiving than that. Failure is just fine, as long as your hair looks good.
© 2000 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 1/26/00
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