Radio shock jock Don Imus learned the hard way that hair can be off-limits when it comes to black women. The negative comments Imus quipped about the collective coifs of a Jersey basketball team induced a national firestorm. Funny man Chris Rock likewise dives into the warm with his documentary, “Good Hair,” scheduled for release this fall. By getting tangled up in a subject that's taboo only in the black community, Rock gets to the root of the multi billion dollar black hair care industry painting a funny, but painful disclosure of the costs of fitting in.
The cast reads like a who’s who:Ice-T, Salt-n-Pepa, Nia Long, Raven Symoné, Maya Angelou. Even Reverend Al Sharpton gets into the mix. Rock credits his daughter, Lola, for the stimulus. The comedian is left speechless when she access him asking why she doesn’t have “good hair.” At a loss to how she reaches that end, Rock sets out to find the answer.Not one shy from controversy, Rock dives right into his project. The result: he manages to wrap humor and disrespect into a remarkably insightful and serious look into the business of black hair. It’s a two year journey that takes him around the globe, with stops in India, Los Angeles, Atlanta and beauty shops across the United States.
Rock avoids being sermonizing or apologetic. Instead he skillfully maneuvers Good Hair into a piece that is as eye opening, sensitive and even shocking as it is funny.Asked at a promotional screening in Tampa if he thought the film is appropriate for young adults, Rock responds with his distinctive chuckle, “I’m Chris Rock. What did you expect?”It’s an answer that’s quite deceiving. Known for his noisy and often expletive-filled stand-up humor, it's true “Good Hair,” is a far cry from Rock’s trademark fare. But beyond the obscenity Rock also gives us “Everybody Hates Chris,” a sit com based on his experiences growing up in New York, which ended its run this year. Rock also voices warm fuzzy characters like Marty, the risk-taking Zebra in Madagascar and the irrepressible guinea pig from Doctor Dolittle. But, Rock says, "Good Hair" may be the best film he’s ever made, He may be right.