"How come a third-act makeover always seems to involve a flatiron?" asks Sara Vilkomerson in the New York Observer, pondering Hollywood's penchant for casting curls as a sign of chaos. Vilkomerson skewers mainstream film culture for hammering home the "straight is sane" message, calling it the "Princess Diaries" effect. "Remember the first thing done to transform Anne Hathaway into appropriate-looking royalty?"
Other notable examples include Glen Close's famously unhinged turn in Fatal Attraction, and the upcoming The Women, in which Meg Ryan goes from a curly ball of neuroses to a straightened sea of calm. "I think it's an important issue," said one curly hair advocate. It's "almost becoming a myth that if you have straight hair you are more professional ... and that’s truly not the case."