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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Barbershop 2: Back in Business does an excellent job of showing the importance of the barbershop in African-American communities, and the necessity of local businesses in neighborhoods as corporate chains try to move in. Flashbacks show some of the barbershop characters' direct experience of history (riots in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, for instance), illuminating the importance of keeping people and businesses in the neighborhoods that know and understand the history of the community. The movie is also very funny, but there's some profanity and there are sexual innuendos.
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What's the story?
In BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS, the Chicago barbershop owned by Calvin (Ice Cube) still plays a central role in the community. Money is always tight, but he finds a way to help out anyone who needs it. Calvin is glad to see more jobs, money, and tax revenues coming into the Southside neighborhood, but worries that the community's history and flavor will be lost in a sea of chain stores. Things look bad when a chain barbershop called Nappy Cutz puts up an "opening soon" sign across the street. Once again, Calvin must decide whether to sell out. There's plenty of give and take between the denizens of the barbershop: Terri (Eve), Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas) now working for an alderman, secretive ex-con Ricky (Michael Ealy), Nigerian immigrant Dinka (Leonard Howze), white barber Isaac (Troy Garrity), and of course, extremely talkative Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer). The old gang is joined by Calvin's cousin-in-law, Kenard (Kenan Thompson), just out of barber school, and gets some visits from Beautyshop hairdresser Gina (Queen Latifah).
Is it any good?
Just as in the original Barbershop, the pleasures of the sequel are in the delightful conversations, especially when compared with the fake-hipness of most portrayals of African-Americans. Barbershop 2: Back in Business lets us listen in on conversations that are not just very funny; they feel much more authentic in the frank treatment of race, as the characters debate who they can "take credit for" and which white people they would be willing to have sex with.
The group discusses their disappointment in finding out that the D.C. sniper was black and the way the media portrays biracial celebrities. They debate what race Jesus was, and a woman explains that he is "Cablanasian, like Tiger Woods." Calvin explains to his baby that poor black people will always be asking him for money and that he won't know they're poor at first because they will dress very nicely. The movie also provides some historical context. We see how Eddie first came to the barbershop, and how he and Calvin's father stayed on through meetings of the Black Panther and the riots after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Barbershop 2: Back in Business shows how people make choices about the places they do business. Do you go to the big national chains or do you seek out small local companies?
Families can also talks about some of the history shown in the movie and their own experiences during the 1960s.
How does Barbershop 2 compare with Barbershop? Which do you like better?
- In theaters: February 6, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: June 29, 2004
- Cast: Eve, Ice Cube, Sean Patrick Thomas
- Director: Kevin Sullivan
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, History, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character Strengths: Integrity
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language, sexual material and brief drug references.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.