Antoine (Rochefort) is a bald man with a passion for hairdressers. He's taken aback when beuatiful coiffeur Mathilde (Galiena) agrees to marry him, and the story that unfolds is based around their developing relationship.
Antoine (Rochefort), an endearingly strange kind of fellow with no hair, has two hobbies. The first is dancing in an abandoned and completely uncoordinated fashion to Arabian music; the second is scissor-happy women. Indeed, ever since he fell in love with an amply-bosomed barber at age 12, Antoine has had a thing about hairdressers (and their chests) and, on coming across the gorgeous Mathilde (Galiena) snipping in her salon, he promptly asks her to marry him. To his surprise - this man is emphatically not Matt Dillon - she agrees, and The Hairdresser's Husband quite simply and quite beautifully tells the story of their life together from this point on.
A beautifully subtle and touching tale of love, told with Leconte's typically warm understanding of his characters' quirks and desires, this is also fabulously French - sensuous and wistfully small scale - with a real-life sexiness that some folk brought up on the lipgloss and grope of Fatal Attraction may well find a little too hair-tremblingly personal to cope with. Rochefort, working again with Leconte after the success of Monsieur Hire, turns in a glorious performance, at turns bumbling, hilarious, heart-breaking and always crazily honest. Galiena is less fascinating but occasionally soars with the considerably more sketchy Mathilde while the rest of the characters here are mad folk one and all, wandering in and out of the salon with their arguments, tears, confessions, slug-slinging wives, bad haircuts, etc.
An honest, slyly funny, aching gem of a film with characters one imagines it would be great fun to get drunk with -high praise indeed - The hairdresser's Husband is bewitching and bittersweet without ever being wet. And Antoine's dancing is well groovy, too.
An honest, slyly funny, aching gem of a film with characters one imagines it would be great fun to get drunk with -high praise indeed.
Reviewed by Miranda Sawyer