The Beautician and the Beast

Director: Ken Kwapis
Writer: Todd Graff
Director of Photography:Peter Lyons Collister
Editor:Jon Poll
Music:Cliff Eidelman
Production Designer:Rusty Smith
Producers:Howard W. Koch, Jr. and Todd Graff
Paramount; PG; 100 minutes
Cast:Fran Drescher, Timothy Dalton, Ian McNeice and Lisa Jakub

Let's just say this role wasn't a stretch for Drescher. She's Queens beautician Joy Miller who, well versed in the evils of split ends and the wonders of liquid eyeliner, waits for her big break and Mr. Right. Miller gets both when two emissaries from Slovetzia mistake her for a scholar and recruit her to tutor the president's children. Dictator Boris “The Beast” Pochenko (Dalton) rules his Eastern European country and his roost with an iron fist and has a fuse as short as Miller's skirts. Unfazed by her lack of credentials, the resourceful Miller teaches her charges math by having them compute frequent-flier miles earned in traveling from Miami to Arizona and gives factory workers a lesson in union organizing. She also softens her boss, encouraging him to trade in his stiff military uniforms for Yves Saint Laurent. A pleasant surprise if you can stomach Drescher's whiny, nasal voice.

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