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Hairspray is the Word

July 26, 2007

Hairspray The funny thing about Hairspray is that it always felt like a musical. The silly hairstyles, costumes, and over the top exuberance that were all in the 1988 John Waters original could easily exist in the sometimes surreal world of move musicals. Watching it, you have to remind yourself that it’s not just a remake, it’s a musical remake.

And it is adorable. My cheeks were aching by the end of the film because I couldn’t stop grinning. I has to stop myself from bursting into applause following each musical number. It’s a silly, goofy movie that doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is. If you have a pulse, you’ll be leaving the theater in a good mood.

Personally, I think they could have picked someone better than John Travolta in the Edna Turnblat role. I would have loved to see Harvey Fierstein, myself. Travolta seemed to be trying too hard to be a woman, and his inconsistent accent wavered between Blanche DuBois and Ed Sullivan. I also would have enjoyed a stronger singer take Queen Latifa‘s role of Motormouth Maybelle, but hey, you gotta have stars in a big Hollywood movie. And these gripes are minor. They sure as hell didn’t hamper the enjoyment.

Have to note that had Christopher Walken had a minute more screentime in this movie, he would have stolen the movie. It’s plain to see how much he’s enjoying himself in this one.

I hope that there are great things ahead for lead actress Nikki Blonsky. She shone in this movie as Tracy Turnblat, and every scene she was in had me grinning and saying to myself, “She is so damn cute!!”

I hope the teeny boppers out there attach to Hairspray and make it a hit like High School Musical (gag). If the squealing tween girls behind me were any indication, Zac Efron (who is the male lead in both) could help make that a reality. Every generation has it’s own defining musical movie (Newsies for me!), and it’ll only be a matter of time before your local high school puts on a production of Hairspray.

Don’t wait until then, though. Go see it now, I highly recommend it.

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