Hairspary Hairspray

Screening Series
Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill, Shirley Henderson, Sheila Hancock,
Genre: Drama/Romance
In Theaters: Jun 24th 2005

Review By:
Mark Plante

Salve Regina University, 2002

Favorite Quote:
"Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you're an asshole."


It has been almost four year since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. In this time President Bush has given us warnings to watch out for “suspicious people.” This warning may be, however small, damaging to the healing process. Not many films have been made about the struggle for the East and West to understand each other. I believe it won’t be until we come to some understanding that the war between our cultures will change. And I recognize the difficulty to understanding a culture that is not familiar to you’re every day life. As a resident of New York City, I am confronted with all that is not familiar to me in one day and I feel blessed to be living in a city that affords me that opportunity.

The new filmYes written and directed by Sally Potter and starring Joan Allen and Simon Abkarian is about the very struggle for a Muslim man and a Catholic woman to understand each other. Their quest for understanding is not an excuse to hate, but love, for these two people are unlikely lovers.

The film follows a woman named She(Joan Allen), who is a scientist that lives in an open marriage. She has no children. She has a competitive relationship with her best friend. In fact the relationship she has with her god-daughter is closer, as both women struggle with their body image. And possibly the age, economical, and emotional difference allows them to be more themselves with each other. She also struggles with her indifference to God. As a woman of science, she feels a disconnect. And as an Irish woman, who moved to America at the age of ten, with her blonde hair and blue eyes, she looks and speaks like an iconic American. This is the main obstacle in the affair that she embarks on with a man named He(Simon Abkarian).

He is from Beirut. He is a Muslim. He works in a kitchen, possibly making not much more then minimum wage. How they meet and what they say to each other is not relevant. The story begins for them with the first look and the chemistry and the connection that they share pushes them into an affair. But their love affair forces them to experience the different kinds of bias and prejudice that each of them experience in their every day life.

After an argument in a parking garage, She is called away to tend to her dying aunt in Belfast. When the aunt eventually dies, She telephones her lover to try to persuade him to try again. She wants to meet him in Havana. But he has returned to

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Copyright © 2005 The Cinema Source