Vidal Sassoon: The Movie may as well be a feature-length advertisement for Vidal Sassoon salons and products. Produced by Sassoon's friend Michael Gordon—which gives you a notion of the film's objectivity—The Movie traces Sassoon's life from his childhood in an orphanage to the vast success of his hairstyle empire. And that is all it does—if there was ever any controversy in Sassoon's career, it's swept under the rug in this sugar-coated documentary barely deserving of the genre's name.

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful to Vidal Sassoon. He was a proponent for female liberation in the 1960s, and he is arguably the main reason women aren't expected to trek to the salon once a week to touch up our perms. He is a remarkable success story. But does he deserve to be compared to Muhammad Ali or Albert Einstein, as The Movie intimates? In one interview, a former employee goes so far as to say, "He's like the Messiah."

Wake-up call: THE MAN CUTS HAIR. HAIR, DAMNIT! He did not "change the world with a pair of scissors," as the tagline claims. Sassoon deserves this rambling 90- minute paean to his life, work, and already-gigantic ego about as much as Bob the Builder deserves to be knighted by the Queen.

The Movie is shot in an undeniably beautiful style, at times geometric, at times flowing (not unlike a Vidal Sassoon haircut). Angular computer-generated diagrams are superimposed over stock film of Sassoon and his team of stylists cutting hair, to little practical effect but much visual awe. But the only image that stuck with me was one of a woman in Sassoon's first salon: grudging and irritable at having her perfect perm destroyed by a man who thinks he knows what's best for her hair. If anyone had photographed me watching this movie, I'm positive the same expression would have been on my face. recommended