Tracy Turnblad, a 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 teen regular. With the help of her friend Seaweed, Tracy is chosen, angering evil dance queen Amber Von Tussle and her mother Velma. Tracy then decides that it's not fair that black kids can only dance on the show once a month (on "Negro Day"), 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
The creative team modified several songs from the Original Broadway production, removed others, and added some new songs. "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now", a number performed in the stage musical by Tracy, Penny, and Amber opposite their respective mothers, was reluctantly cut from the script during pre-production - but was sung over the credits by all three "original" Tracys (Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Nikki Blonsky). While the crew liked the song, screenwriter Leslie Dixon felt the number did not adequately advance the plot, and would also be impossible to film without a three-way split screen, which neither she nor director Adam Shankman wanted to use. "It Takes Two", sung in the stage musical by Link to Tracy during her first day on "The Corny Collins Show", was moved to an earlier scene in the film; Link sings it just before Tracy learns that the TV station will be holding auditions for a new Council Member. However, only the song's coda remains in the final release. "Cooties", performed by Amber at the climactic "Miss Teenage Hairspray" pageant in the stage musical, is an instrumental during the pageant contestants' dance-off. "Mama" and "It Takes Two" are also instrumentals during scenes featuring broadcasts of "The Corny Collins Show". A reprise of "Big, Blond, and Beautiful", sung by Velma and Edna, was added to the film as part of a new subplot involving Velma Von Tussle's attempt to seduce Tracy's father Wilbur. "I Can Wait", a climactic ballad written for the film, was to have been performed by Tracy as she is hiding out in Penny's basement. The sequence was cut from the final release print. "The New Girl in Town" was written for the stage musical, dropped during the workshopping stage, resurrected, and used in this film to underscore Tracy's rise-to-fame montage, and to show "The Corny Collins Show" on Negro Day. "Ladies' Choice", performed by Link at a school dance, was added to replace "The Madison", a dance number carried over into the stage musical from Hairspray (1988). "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" was written for the film for use during the closing credits. See more »
During Tracy's first show on "The Corny Collins Show", Amber is wearing a white layered dress. But a shot during the same scene, where everyone is facing the back of the set, shows Amber wearing the pink and white striped dress that she wears in the beginning of the movie. After that shot, she is back in the white layered dress. 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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In an alternate ending on the Hairspray DVD, Corny Collins convinces the police chief to arrest Velma von Tussle during the "You Can't Stop the Beat" finale. In addition, Amber von Tussle reforms her ways and dances with one of the "Negro Day" dancers during the final refrain of the song. See more »
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.
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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