Identical twins, separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents, discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together.
As seniors in high school, Troy and Gabriella struggle with the idea of being separated from one another as college approaches. Along with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical to address their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.
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
Edna (John Travolta's character) says "Look, if you want to be famous, learn how to take blood outta car upholstery". This is a reference to Pulp Fiction (1994), when Travolta's character (Vince) accidentally shoots Marvin in Jules' (Samuel L. Jackson) car. They have to take the car to Jules' friend and call in the Wolf (a man who deals with big problems) to help them clean up the mess all over them and the car. Needless to say, Travolta's character had to clean blood out of car upholstery. See more »
In almost every scene in the Corny Collins studio, the red "tally" lights for every camera are active at the same time. A "tally" light indicates to the talent and operator which camera is live, thus having them all on at once would defeat the purpose. During "The Nicest Kids In Town" when the film transitions from the television in the Turnblad's home to the viewfinder on the camera, that camera's tally lamps are all off. 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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