Directed by Paddy Breathnach, starring Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson, Rachel Griffiths, Rachael Leigh Cook, Josh Hartnett, Heidi Klum and Peter McDonald.

Keighley is a small non-descript English town, the present day embodiment of the old-school 'It's grim up north' philosophy: dreary streets and a constant state of stasis. Stuck in the middle of it all, addled by loneliness, is Phil Allen (Alan Rickman), a former champion hairdresser now running a modest barbershop aided by his son Brian (Josh Hartnett). Once a hairdresser of some repute on the competition circuit, Phil hung up his competitive scissors after his wife left him for another woman.

When it is announced that Keighley is to host the glamorous National Hair Championships, the locals assume that Phil will seek to reclaim the Silver Scissors. He hasn't spoken to wife Shelley (Natasha Richardson) or her partner Sandra (Rachel Griffiths) since their untimely elopement just before the Silver Scissors finals some years back.

The plot descends further into Dallas-style melodrama when we discover that Shelly is terminally ill with cancer and has her heart set on winning the SS finals as part of a team. She fails to convince Phil to participate against his coiffeur nemesis, Ray Robertson (Bill Nighy) until it becomes apparent that Ray and his ilk are prepared to cheat to win the title. Shelly, Phil and Brian agree to put the past behind them and try to win the trophy.

In a further twist, Phil has no model for the big night as - yes you've guessed it – Shelly has lost her locks to chemotherapy. Sandra steps in to save the day. Meanwhile, Christina (Rachael Leigh Cook) who is the daughter of bad guy Ray falls for Brian and helps expose her father's duplicity.

As well as oodles of ludicrous hairstyles, this film includes sheep dipping with a difference and hair-tinting on corpses. Michael McElhatton and Peter McDonald as a pair of feuding brothers do Peter Stringfellow proud with their 1980s coiffed mullets and leopard skin accessories and Heidi Klum is surprisingly competent as McElhatton's petulant wife Jasmine. Although formulaic, this is a light-hearted, camp affair – a bit like 'Strictly Ballroom', with more hairspray and less humour.

Sinéad Gleeson