C.K. Dexter-Haven, a successful popular jazz musician, lives in a mansion near his ex-wife's Tracy Lord's family estate. She is on the verge of marrying a man blander and safer than Dex, ... See full summary »
Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teenager with all the right moves, is obsessed with the Corny Collins Show. Every day after school, she and her best friend Penny run home to watch the show and drool over the hot Link Larkin, much to Tracy's mother Edna's dismay. After one of the stars of the show leaves, Corny Collins holds auditions to see who will be the next person on the Corny Collins show. With all of the help of her friend Seaweed, Tracy makes it on the show, angering the evil dance queen Amber Von Tussle and her mother Velma. Tracy then decides that it's not fair that the black kids can only dance on the Corny Collins Show once a month, and with the help of Seaweed, Link, Penny, Motormouth Maybelle, her father and Edna, she's going to integrate the show.....without denting her 'do! Written by
After "I Know Where I've Been", when the crowd is chanting "2, 4, 6, 8, T.V.'s got to integrate," Edna is clutching her white purse under her right forearm, but then the camera pans out and the purse move back to her side. See more »
Oh, oh, oh, woke up today, feeling the way I always do. Oh, oh, oh, hungry for something that I can't eat. Then I hear that beat. That rhythm of town starts calling me down. It's like a message from high above. Oh, oh, oh, pulling me out to the smiles and the streets that I love. Good morning, Baltimore!
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Viciously satirical, deeply irreverent and wonderfully fun!
Had it not been for a free pass to an advance screening, I must admit that my friends would have had trouble getting me to see 'Hairspray.' I don't mind musicals but 'Hairspray' didn't seem like something I'd enjoy. Not for the first time in my life was I wrong.
'Hairpsray' is about tolerance, integration and acceptance of others. The film uses the racial divide between blacks and whites but the subtext of the film is Heterosexuals and Homosexuals. 'Hairspray' viciously lampoons bigots and reserves specific devastation for Ultra-conservative religious zealots, figures of authority and WASPs. The satire is white hot (Alison Janney steals every scene she is in), the music catchy, the movie's spirit is irreverent.
I had no problems with the cast and their performances. John Travolta isn't bad and when he gets his chances to dance he's great fun. Christopher Walken and Travolta have a song and dance number duet that rates among the best moments of the film and isn't to be missed. Queen Latifah adds some dignity and balance while Michelle Pfeiffer plays a terrific screen villainess. Amanda Bynes has few lines to deliver but gives perfect comic deadpan when she does for excellent comic effect. Keep a sharp eye out for the hilarious John Waters cameo during the opening number.
Of recent major movie musicals, this is easily better than 'The Producers,' (better comedy and music) and last year's 'Dreamgirls' (weaker songs but better pacing and strong beyond the first half). Although it doesn't have the star power or scale, I also prefer it to 'Chicago' -- 'Hairspray' takes itself less seriously and not many movies have me laughing and smiling from start to finish. If you're looking for a little pure counter-culture escapist fun, 'Hairpsray' is your movie.
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