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Hairspray More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Welcome to the 60's (or how a remake can actually work)

Author: Edd-N-Furter from Mexico
25 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In 1988, the cult director John Waters made a musical-type approach to his childhood in Baltimore that resulted in the film Hairspray, which in turn resulted in a successful Broadway musical a couple of years ago.

As expected in the wake of the recent spate of film adaptations of stage musicals, the adaptation/remake of Hairspray was expected and unlike earlier tries that gave extremely poor results (Rent, The Producers, The Phantom of the Opera) Hairspray works and exceeds the expectations of seeing a musical at the height and claiming the genre after several setbacks.

The story revolves around Tracy Turnbland (the wonderful Nikki Blonsky), who despite living with overweight dreams to join the group of dancers from the Corny Collins Show, and when the opportunity to audition comes, she must make aside the prejudices of his overprotective mother (played by a brilliant John Travolta) and the channel manager Velma Von Tussle (Michelle Pfeiffer), who above all seeks to privilege her daughter Amber. On her way, Tracy will find out not only the prejudices towards overweight people but also the racial prejudices prevalent at the time, and she will find love personified by Link Larkin (Zac Efron), the star dancer of the show.

Thus, the director Adam Shankman takes us to an era in which a teenager's dream translated into dance and being part of the latest fashion through costumes and retro art direction that really makes you feel you're watching the 60's, great choreography,the performances of a sensational cast in that absolutely no one is out of place (and by my surprise, in which they all sing and do it very well) and a catchy soundtrack and full of energy and an honest reflection on racial discrimination (which in fact works better than some "Pseudo-adult-manifests-on-racism" like Crash)

Without doubt, Hairspray is a major surprise in every way: a big and great musical with big songs and a big ensemble cast.In other words, is big as its protagonist.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unlikely musical success

Author: Karl Self from Yurp
25 September 2009

John Waters' 1988 original "Hairspray" was a brilliant candy-coloured movie about a fatso teenager becoming a dancing star in Baltimore and battling racial segregation on her way. The movie we're discussing isn't a remake, but a film adaptation of the Broadway musical that was based on the John Waters movie; which wasn't actually a musical. And, by the way, John Waters didn't direct the 2007 product, either. So those are some important differences.

The 2007 Hairspray is a brilliant musical movie which another user here described quite appropriately as "the ultimate feelgood movie", with, as I might add, extra lashings of political righ-on-ness and a double dose of body antifascism. If you listen closely you can here a few actual racial equality activists retching in the background, but for the super good time you'll have to accept that as part of the package, along with the lack of the acidity of the 1988 original.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Musical That That Will Make YouWant To Dance

Author: eric262003 from Canada
3 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first viewed "Hairspray" from the trailers, I was rolling my eyes in disbelief. I mean, come on, John Travolta in drag? Is this where his career path is heading into? But to my surprise he was really good in his role and I can tell he was having fun playing the laundress mother Edna Turnblad. Sure he wasn't the best actor in this movie, but you couldn't help but laugh at the fact that a super stud like Travolta giving up his macho demeanor for a pair of leggings and lipstick.It certainly is one of the best modern day musicals I'e seen in a long while. Along with "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago", I hope "Hairspray" brings back the dying genre of musical comedy.

I remember watching the original John Waters "Hairspray" years ago, so I came to the theater expecting something special. Of course the movie will tarnish more cinematic innuendos in comparison to the original Broadway musical. The original 1988 movie had a more darker content in contrast to the more fun and hilarious stage performance. They were both excellent as on would expect, but I was saddened that they left out two of my favorite songs "The Big Dollhouse" and "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now."

What can I say about the acting? Well for one thing, the standout performance of them all is Nikki Blonsky. She just devoured every scene she was in, just like Jennifer Hudson did in "Dreamgirls". Her songs probably eclipsed over the original Tracy (Ricki Lake). Zac Efron shadows away from his schmaltzy "High School Musical" role with a very scintillating performance. Christopher Walken continues to shine in everything that he's accomplished, including singing. Amanda Bynes was convincing enough because her role was meant to be a character "just finding her voice" and she does it effectively. Michelle Pfieffer is both beautiful and talented as she's always been. Queen Latifah, the Queen of Rap was wonderful as the record shop owner and host of "Negro Day". Elijah Kelley as Seaweed was a pleasure to watch and has a wonderful singing voice. Brittany Snow's Amber had a great voice too, though her role was very small and her singing was limited in use.

The direction by Adam Shankman was crisp and clear, but the one stink I have to make is that the school bell was blurry as the scene changes, but it really made no big deal. The costumes were purely authentic, it brought back found memories of how my parents dressed in the 1960's. The hair, the attitudes, the culture,the phrases and the music. were vintage 1960's. It was a nostalgic roller-coaster ride where times were simpler.

This is definitely a movie you should own and cherish for long, long time. If you feel like dancing, lip-syncing or want to invite your friends for a sleepover, this is the perfect movie for everyone to watch. If you didn't see it yet, what the hell are you waiting for. Go rent or buy it, you wouldn't want to miss this opportunity.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The best feel good movie in YEARS!!

Author: TMarkus_1993 from Greece
10 March 2008

This movie was incredible! Fantastic! Hilarious sometimes! I had heard a few positive comments for this film, but i didn't expect anything like this! I have to agree now that it's truly today's "Grease". The story talks about Tracy, a plump teenager who dreams of becoming a TV star through her amazing dancing abilities. This is difficult though when she has a mother who wants her to become a laundress like her and discourages her. I'd really like to tell you what happens next, but then again what's the point of watching a movie when you know what happens in the end? Nikki Blonsky gives a pretty nice performance for a newcomer as Tracy Turnblad, John Travolta is a very pleasant surprise as Tracy's fat mother, and we generally have entertaining performances throughout the whole film. The music is totally what we call "fell good", as it makes you wanna dance sometimes, and the '60s atmosphere is made extraordinarily well! In conclusion, this is a MUST SEE movie for all audiences, and especially musical lovers. DON'T MISS IT!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Travolta revolta

Author: dubyah1
23 February 2008

Hairspray was an excellent Broadway musical and a quirky original film, but this movie musical was a disappointment.

Travolta may have been able to dance in a fat suit, but his accent is truly revolting and distracting (to give you an idea, 'diet' is pronounced 'dot'), and his acting comes from the Renee Zellweger school of eye-crinkling and mouth-pursing. Two pivotal songs, 'Momma, I'm a Big Girl Now' and 'The Big House' were trashed to make room for another Michelle Pfeiffer number, who also sang poorly (surprising from someone who did her own songs for the Fabulous Baker Brothers). It's as if the producers were star-struck and got talked into making star-based rather than correct decisions.

James Marsden was a real treat to watch and listen to, Walken can do anything, and Blonsky was better a better singer than Winokur, although not as good an actress.

The romance is muzzled, but should have been central to the theme of discrimination.

Too bad!

Hopefully they'll remake it in another decade, with a real Hefty Hideaway female in the role of Tracy's mom; drag is SO pass/e (although Harvey Fierstein was FABulous, darling).

For the best of both worlds, watch 'Sugarbaby' and listen to the Broadway soundtrack of Hairspray.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hairsprays one of my favourite films!

Author: sam_aj_01 from United Kingdom
12 January 2008

100 percent worth watching!

Definitely a family film. Even though i haven't seen the original, and i don't think i need to because this films too good to be true! Its a classic musical

I didn't think i would enjoy it after seeing all the advertisements but when i went to the cinema one day with my friends i couldn't stop smiling. The film is definitely suitable for everyone, it always has something in it to make everyone in a good mood. Apart from the cheesy quotes and groove dance routines, the famous actors practically make this film a 10/10!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A New Hairspray For A New Generation

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
3 January 2008

This second version of Hairspray got lots of attention for seventies disco king John Travolta doing a role in drag. It was quite an undertaking because the person Travolta was trying to emulate was the one and only Divine. Her characterization of Edna Turnblad in John Waters's original Hairspray was the pivot for that whole film.

Hairspray number two retains all the originality and songs and good humor of what John Waters gave us in the Eighties. I guess Travolta was lucky there was no gossip about him and Christopher Walken who plays Wilbur Turnblad in this version.

I do wonder if Nikki Blonsky who plays our hefty teenage protagonist Tracy Turnblad will have a career similar to Rikki Lake's. Lake's was going quite well as a talk-show host in the Nineties, but we haven't heard much from her as of late.

The thing that shocked me more than John Travolta in drag about this version of Hairspray was the fact that Disney Studios let their number one bubble gum teen idol Zac Efron appear as heartthrob Link Larkin in this version. Maybe it's something that Zac demanded of them and they relented. Presumably he's worried about a career after the third version of High School Musical comes out. Eventually it all has to end. I can say with certainty that old Walter Elias Disney would NEVER have let one of his stars appear in any version of Hairspray. This was the man who ran Tommy Kirk out of the business for being gay. Things have changed a lot in the Magic Kingdom.

I enjoyed this version of Hairspray every bit as much as I did the original one. Maybe we should do one for each generation that passes.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic adaptation of Broadway hit

Author: blanche-2 from United States
1 January 2008

John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah,Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, Brittany Snow and Amanda Bynes star in "Hairspray," a 2007 movie musical directed by Adam Shankman. Shankman has a great understanding of what made this musical and the John Waters film great, and he brings it to the screen with a stellar cast singing and dancing their way through wonderful songs by Marc Shaiman.

Newcomer Nikki Blonsky is the plus-sized, big-haired Tracy Turnblad, and she holds her own well up against her more experienced colleagues, giving a lively, full-voiced performance. John Travolta plays Tracy's mother Edna and Christopher Walken her father - now there's a power couple if there ever was one. Despite criticisms basically based on just not liking John Travolta, he really does a fantastic job. When you're watching a big male star and actually start believing you're watching a female character, that's good acting. Travolta brings a sweetness to the role and manages to dance wearing all that padding. As Tracy's dad, Christopher Walken may seem like odd casting, but he's wonderful. "Timeless to Me" is an absolute gem.

The cast is uniformly excellent, with a small, funny role essayed by Allison Janney that again proves what a great character actress she is, and some high-energy vocals and dance by the multitalented Elijah Kelley. James Marsden, as Corny Collins, is very slick. Zac Efron is perfect as the adorable super-hunk Linc. As Miss Baltimore Crabs, what can be said about gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer except that she's terrific as the mean-spirited bigot Velma von Tussle. Now that she's past 40, roles aren't as easy to find for Pfeiffer as they once were, but with Velma, she starts a second career. Queen Latifah sings like a dream.

My only problem is that I would have loved more of the songs from the show included - "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now" being one, and the song that Linc and Tracy sing at the jail. But the spirit of the show remains - upbeat, with a driving, pulsating energy and enthusiasm. It's a film with a serious undertone of racial integration, of being different and being accepted in society, and it makes its point with warm characters, a well-paced story, and toe-tapping music. Watch "Hairspray" when you're feeling low, and you'll dance off of the couch.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It could have been brilliant but....

Author: Horror-Lord from United Kingdom
12 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

They went and shoved John Travolta in it. That is probably the only gripe I have with this film really, bar some dodgy acting from that High School Musical guy. Why did they have to do it? Anyone but him would have been fantastic! The thing is, Travolta is only good in one role and even then he's not great- the insane lunatic one. For some unfathomable reason, the producers thought that sticking him in a fat suit, planting a wig on his head and making him camp it up like Christmas would make it funny. They were wrong. However, the film itself is actually really good. It is lighthearted and fun which makes for an enjoyable viewing experience. Nikki Blonsky is great as Tracy- although she doesn't have the spark that the original character had and the songs, as camp and pop-like as there are, are actually quite good, especially for a musical- they are far better than the garbage in some recent high school based musicals (not mentioning any names of course) and, overall, this is definitely a film worth getting your hands on for a lazy, possibly lonely, Saturday night in.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A musical comedy with a political agenda

Author: george karpouzas
14 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is an interesting mixture of a apparently naive plot- the self-fulfillment of a young girl from Baltimore through dance- and political propaganda- that is the promotion of the agenda of coloured mainly but also 'different' people in general. The original musical is a creation of the sixties which was the heyday of the Civil Rights movement in the USA. The performance of John Travolta as the mother of the aspiring dancer was impressive and comic while it promoted the idea that one should not make distinctions based on size- that is against fat people. Michelle Pfeifer was a very impressive scheming and power-hungry, racist director of a T.V. show dedicated to dance. Queen Latifah had a strong personality as the matriarch of the coloured youth with artistic temperaments. The producer of the show was also a successful representation of the average bigoted American businessman of that age or at least of his image in popular culture. The music and dance were inspiring.

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