Craig Ferguson, Frances Fisher, Mary McCormack, David Rasche, Chris Langham, Donal Logue, Isabella Aitken, Kevin Allen, Angela McCluskey, David Hasselhoff, Drew Carey, Cathy Lee Crosby, Bruce Jenner, Nina Siemaszko, Larry Miller, Sara Gilbert, Kylie Bax"/>
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With: Craig Ferguson, Frances Fisher, Mary McCormack, David Rasche, Chris Langham, Donal Logue, Isabella Aitken, Kevin Allen, Angela McCluskey, David Hasselhoff, Drew Carey, Cathy Lee Crosby, Bruce Jenner, Nina Siemaszko, Larry Miller, Sara Gilbert, Kylie Bax
Written by: Craig Ferguson, Sacha Gervasi
Directed by: Kevin Allen
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 86
Date: 10/01/1999
IMDB

The Big Tease (2000)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Highlights

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A The ads for The Big Tease compare it to Mel Gibson's Braveheart, only with hair. Actually, it's not like Braveheart in the least, except that it's about a Scotsman (played by Craig Ferguson) fighting against the odds. Braveheart was an epic spectacle with much trumpeting and hollering while The Big Tease is small, funny, and about as lightweight as a breath of air.

Ferguson plays Crawford Mackenzie, Scotland's greatest hairdresser, who is invited to Los Angeles for a hairdressing competition--the Platinum Scissors. When he arrives, he discovers that he's not actually competing. He only has a ticket to sit in the audience. Undaunted, Crawford sets out to enter the contest, which means that he must first obtain his union card (HAG).

Like 'Crocodile' Dundee, Crawford's overseas charms soon attract him a small army of friends. Principle among these is Frances Fisher, who co-stars as Sean Connery's publicist that joins Crawford's fight. His primary competition is an evil hairdresser named Stig Ludwiggssen (David Rasche). Drew Carey, Cathy Lee Crosby, Bruce Jenner, and Sara Gilbert appear in cameos. And the great Charles Napier (from the Russ Meyer movies) plays the skeet-shooting Senator Warren Crockett, who runs the contest.

The Big Tease is done mockumentary style, a la This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Most of its jabs are about L.A. from the point of view of Scotland (traffic, gangs, food, exercising, etc.). Some of the jokes are obvious and fall flat, but others work their sly charm on you. Co-written by Sacha Gervasi and Ferguson, a stand-up comic and a regular on the The Drew Carey Show, this movie has a decidedly middlebrow humor (there's even a David Hasselhoff joke, for goodness sake). It gives us none of the There's Something About Mary gross-outs nor any Being John Malkovich insights.

However, this movie, directed by Kevin Allen, does make the most of the faux documentary format. Many other movies that have tried this format, such as Bob Roberts (1992) or Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), have failed because we never believed that the images were captured as they were really happening. But nothing in The Big Tease feels staged. It flows like ridiculous reality and dissolves cotton candy quickly. But it feels good for a little while and there's no bitter aftertaste.

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