Have you seen Chris Rock's Good Hairyet? Sorry, that's Jeff Stilson's Good Hair. Have you seen it yet? If so, was it because you're really interested in the subject of black women's hair? Or, was it because you knew with Rock hosting and guiding us through the documentary that it'd be at least a funny movie? I finally caught up with Good Hair, which was released to DVD last month, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't have bothered with it had Rock not been involved so prominently. The funny thing is, though, the film isn't as hilarious as I had hoped -- yet I came away from it gladly informed about such things as relaxer, weaves and the fact Nia Long prefers to be on top during sex so as not to disturb her hair.

Scott had a similar reaction when he reviewed the film from Sundance a year ago. Though he acknowledged that he mainly saw this doc he'd otherwise "have little to no interest in" because it was a requisite of his festival coverage, he also had this to say about the film's star: "I suspect that the subject matter would still be fairly interesting without Rock's involvement, but the comedian brings a accessibility to the material that no amount of facts and figures can replace."

I think the key, though, is that the accessibility is not because Rock is a familiar face so much as a funnyman. If all it took was a celebrity to make a documentary appeal to audiences who don't normally watch non-fiction films, bigger box office draws than Rock, such as Leonardo DiCaprio (his voice anyway) and George Clooney, would bring outsiders into films like The 11th HourandDarfur Now, respectively. Perhaps you could argue there is a matter of subject matter, as the topic of black women's hair is much lighter than global warming and the crisis in Darfur.
categories Columns, Cinematical