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DVD Review: Split Ends

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Lizzie Munro (Corinna May), a Scottish transplant, has a nice salon in an old part of fictional Manningtree, New Jersey. Her problems include a gutless “separated” boyfriend, a bad electrical panel, and eminent domain. Tiny Provenzano (Vincent Pastore) is the mayor who stands to make a fortune when a block of buildings are seized and turned into a shopping mall/condo complex. Many small business owners will be forced to sell, and the neighborhood will be gentrified.

Lizzie’s weak-kneed boyfriend, Len (Beau Baxter), is unwilling to support her fight to save the buildings and is one of the first to sell out. His popular coffee shop is an early casualty. His relationship with Lizzie is next.

Romanced by a new salon customer, Lizzie soon learns that her latest squeeze is actually a consultant with the company behind the new development. “Up your kilt with a banger,” is her parting shot to him, along with a famous New Jersey (via Italia) gesture. The audience heaves a sigh of relief when that split end is removed.

Lizzie manages to get a huge turnout for a council meeting that would normally go unattended (the council’s earlier meetings seem suspiciously like real town council meetings, with the mayor seconding his own motions when no one else speaks up). Hours pass while the council discusses a variety of boring agenda items before the meeting finally addresses the issue everyone has come to hear. Citizen after citizen address the council, speaking out against the project. The mayor tries to cut things short—he has an awful lot to lose—but in true Scottish-American spirit the people, particularly Lizzie, have their say.

Split Ends is an independent film with a heart. Its sense of place (northern New Jersey) is well established, the performances and direction by Dorothy Lyman do justice to a familiar story (the underdog vs. the establishment), and there’s just enough cannoli and coffee to make this Jersey girl homesick. It’s the kind of movie the viewer hopes will have a feel-good ending, although it doesn’t go all the way to highly-unlikelyville to achieve it (well, maybe halfway). The split ends are trimmed, the hair is intact, and it might just be time for a few new highlights.

In addition to the scenic Clifton (and Botany Village) settings, Split Ends charms with traditional Scottish music and even a few moments with a bagpiper. Vincent Pastore gives an accurate portrayal of a certain type of Jersey guy, and Janet Sarno enchants as Aunt Connie Provenzano, the woman with the Hoboken cannoli connection.

Split Ends is a sweet movie—not terribly deep—that gives the viewer a happy conclusion to small vs. big, and dollars vs. cents. Extras include a trailer and photo gallery.

Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent Split Ends? Rent (or stream); it’s escapist fare that works.

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About Miss Bob Etier

  • JamesFolley

    November 6, 2010

    A review of the movie Split ends by TheSalonGuy.

    A touching close to home movie about a Scottish born Hair Stylist struggling to keep her business open while local government, corruption and charm try to take over her property.

    A slow start suddenly turns into an emotional suspenseful tale of the true life of a Salon Owner. While finally paying off her property and looking to grow her business, local government and corrupt investors attempt to take over the local stores to build “Cortona”. A luxury mall and condo complex that will replace dozens of local shops. The storyline may be somewhat familiar; however the movie grew on me. It had a “cult classic” feel to it which was very appealing after a somewhat slow start. If you are a fan of movies that have dry humor, seduction and corruption which many classic movies do, then I highly suggest checking out this film. It is a true representation of the passion, dedication and love for people that Hair Stylists really have. Despite a charming handsome Investor, a corrupt local government and a sleazy Mayor, Salon Owner Lizzie Munro doesn’t give up and fights to keep her business open. This is a great tale of inspiration, perseverance, dedication and passion. There a many racy and romantic moments in the film, roller sets and good Italian food. I highly suggest checking out the film as it will bring a smile to your face and remind you about how we should love our profession.