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Carey Mulligan's Hair in Drive: Too Expensive?

Has Great Hair Ever Taken You Out of a Movie?

We're excited to present this story from our friends at Allure:

Drive, the action flick starring street justice hottie Ryan Gosling, is burning up the box office and, for the most part, reviewers agree it's plenty exciting. But on her personal blog, former New York Post and Us Weekly film critic Thelma Adams points out the film's most glaring— and stunning — flaw: Carrie Mulligan's hair.

"And then enter Carey Mulligan as Irene, exsqueeze me, a Denny's waitress with a kid. And a husband in prison. Living in a squat downtown motel suitable for Charles Bukowski. No offense to Mulligan, but she's so miscast — so dewy not dingy. It's a reflection of the filmmakers' enormous blind spot that they think no one will notice, or care. Irene's blond highlights and bob alone would cost $500." Weigh in about more movie makeovers when you keep reading.

You know what? It's true. Mulligan's hair is chic and gorgeous in Drive. She has brand spanking new highlights and a just-so tousle to her shiny locks. She looks like she's selling salon shampoo not an uberviolent drama.


Adams's inability to suspend her disbelief reminded me of some other times I've been taken out of a movie by beauty incongruities. Like in Iron Man 2, when Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko is slaving away on a bootleg Iron Man suit in the middle of an iceberg or something, and yet with every close up of this supposed hardened, impoverished man we got a screen full of Rourke's pillowy lip injections. Or when Rachel Leigh Cook was supposed to be a mess pre-makeover in She's All That just because she was wearing unfortunate overalls. Overalls don't hide crystal-clear skin that's so luminous it would glow in the dark! (See also: The premiere episode of Zooey Deschanel's Fox sitcom The New Girl.)

But back to Mulligan's lustrous hair: It's eye-pleasing, but it is a problem. Movie makeunders — from Mariah Carey's subtle mustache in Precious to Charlize Theron's head-to-toe transformation in Monster — are necessary to sell the idea that these (unusually beautiful in real life) actresses are living their less-glamorous, onscreen lives. And while you can certainly be a blue collar mom who wants out of her marriage and still have cute hair (see Michelle Williams's bangs in the other Gosling film Blue Valentine), there is something about Mulligan's high maintenance-looking color that would seem to require a blockbuster paycheck.

What do you think of Mulligan's hair? And has a beauty look ever taken you out of a movie?

More stories from Allure:
How to get the most out of a volumizer
What no one ever tells you about getting lash extensions

Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 6 years
I actually had the opposite reaction after watching Drive. I thought Carey Mulligan's visible roots and kinda streaky highlights looked realistic, as though she'd done them herself.
ellie9 ellie9 6 years
I do agree with Thelma Adams. Yes, you can have great hair naturally; yes, in some parts of the country (still looking in Los Angeles!), you can find affordable and talented hairstylists. But, the truth is, most likely and for the majority to relate in a "real" way (not fantasyland), if her character's life is as told, stress, the job, the kid!, would not enable her to keep this updo more than half an hour!!!!!!
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 6 years
Postmodernsleaze, I thought the same thing about Eva in Bad Lieutenant.
CarolinadeWitte CarolinadeWitte 6 years
My hair is naturally coloured like that. Really, I have at least six different shades naturally, and have seen others the same way. Her style doesn't seem that special either. Yes, it's shiny. That takes a good but inexpensive shampoo and conditioner. I don't think she looks at all 'high maintenance' in this.
missanab missanab 6 years
i loved kristen wiigs hair in bridesmaids.
bryseana bryseana 6 years
Just from that picture, I think her hair looks normal/realistic. There are a lot of hair salons that aren't expensive but still deliver quality results. You don't have let yourself go because you work at a deli, etc...I think the critic was off and definitely generalizing.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I loved Drive and didn't think about Carey Mulligan not looking "dingy" enough for the role. However, movies do this often. They still put the pretty Hollywood glaze on a lot of things they shouldn't. I think one of the most glaring examples is that movie Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage that came out a couple years ago. Eva Mendes played the role of a crack whore. Has anyone in Hollywood ever seen a crack whore? They do not look like Eva Mendes. At all.
karisaamy karisaamy 6 years
I know I can get a cut and color for $70 + tip around here with a very good stylist with a ton of experience. Just because there are $500 options does mean that you have to do that.
hottopiccasey hottopiccasey 6 years
Where is she getting her hair done that it's $500? I can get a cut and color for $110 at least, not including tip.
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