Synopsis by Karl Williams
Director Barry Levinson attempts to repeat the success of several recent, low-budget British imports such as The Full Monty (1997), Waking Ned Devine (1998), and Saving Grace (2000) with this comedy about a pair of prison barbers trying to make a success of a hairpiece business in Northern Ireland. Colm (Barry McEvoy), a Catholic, and George (Brian F. O'Byrne), a Protestant, are friends who toil away in a lackluster job cutting the hair of convicts in a prison for the insane where Colm's girlfriend Bronagh (Anna Friel) also works. When the two lads hear of a prisoner nicknamed The Scalper (Billy Connolly), they learn that he was the only seller of hairpieces in the country, and decide to begin crafting their own toupees for sale as a way to start their own business. As they ply their wares through the war-torn country, the friends are not above using their respective religions to make sales, but competition soon arrives in the form of Toupee or Not Toupee, a rival company, and a race to be the first outfit to sell 30 units quickly ensues. Politics, business, and religious beliefs soon intersect to cause big trouble for both men. Actor McEvoy also wrote the script for An Everlasting Piece, loosely basing his character on his real-life father.
barber, business-rivalry, Catholicism, friendship, hair, Ireland, prison, Protestant, religion, religious-conflict