The Big Tease

From the how-did-it-ever-get-made file comes The Big Tease, a dire major-studio project about a Scottish hairdresser that foists the comic stylings of Glasgow-born Craig Ferguson, Yahoo Serious-like, on a presumably apathetic American public. Ignoring for a moment the lunacy of building a star vehicle around Ferguson, a supporting player on TV's The Drew Carey Show, it's still baffling that anyone approved of the film's played-out mockumentary format or its feeble gags about all things Scottish. With little more to do than space out the riffs on plaid kilts, goofy regional slang, and Sean Connery, the script devises a competition that pits the world's finest hairdressers against each other for the coveted Platinum Scissors. Trailed by a documentary crew, Ferguson flies to Los Angeles for the event, only to discover that the organizers invited him as an audience member, not a participant. The rest of the film chronicles his thrilling efforts to join a hairstyling guild (!) and get into the show, with a few fish-out-of-water misadventures—including a drive-by shooting in the 'hood—and the requisite Hollywood cameos from David Hasselhoff, Cathy Lee Crosby, Bruce Jenner, and Carey himself. Though Ferguson is a reasonably ingratiating screen presence, The Big Tease does little with its faux-documentary gimmick, leaving nothing but uneven vignettes to carry the action until his climactic face-off with an egomaniacal Swede. When it finally arrives, nothing in the competition can match any hour of The Food Network's oddly similar Japanese import, The Iron Chef, which is funnier, more fiercely contested, and best of all free with a cable subscription in most cities.

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