'Pleasantly Plump' teenager Tracy Turnblad achieves her dream of becoming a regular on the Corny Collins Dance Show. Now a teen hero, she starts using her fame to speak out for the causes she believes in, most of all integration. In doing so, she earns the wrath of the show's former star, Amber Von Tussle, as well as Amber's manipulative, pro-segregation parents. The rivalry comes to a head as Amber and Tracy vie for the title of Miss Auto Show 1963.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Divine's swansong, and John Waters' commercial peak
Arguably the high point of John Waters' career, HAIRSPRAY is a fun, energetic and infectious movie with a top-notch soundtrack and earnest performances from everyone involved. The story centers around Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake), a "pleasantly plump" teenager who spends her afternoons watching the Corny Collins Show, where teenagers dance the most popular dances to the latest tunes. She manages to get on the show, and from there hopes to bring integration to Baltimore, Maryland (this takes place in 1962). While still maintaining some of the weirdness which made John Waters (in)famous, this film rises above campiness because of the social ideas it embraces, e.g., racial equality. There's also hints of commentary on fame and child stars, akin to themes explored in more explicit ways in his previous films, but the focus here is on bringing people together. And what better way than through music and dancing? Just about everything in the movie works, from the retro fashion which has been lovingly recreated/exaggerated to the choreography and music. It's so catchy that you just want to get up and dance yourself. Still, the movie isn't without its negatives. The narrative is a bit thin, and the conflict is resolved a little too easily, but this can be mostly forgiven because of the strength of everything else around it. Recommended for moviegoers of all ages.
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