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Tracy Turnblad fights to get on the Corny Collins tv dance show in the segregated 60's.

What I Thought

Warning #1: This movie is a musical...

Warning #2: ...based on the hit Broadway musical Hairspray...

Warning #3: ...which is based in turn on the original non-musical movie Hairspray from 1988...

Warning #4: ...originally directed by John Waters. (If you've seen any of his movies, you'll know why you need to be warned).

If you've gotten this far then you aren't as jaded by the movie-turns-musical-turns-back-into-movie phenomenon as I thought. And you aren't afraid of John Waters. Though you should be.

I have to say that while the premise is a bit hokey, and it IS a musical, the music and plot get more infectious as you keep watching. By the last song at the end of the movie, it felt as if the audience didn't need that much more to start clapping along.

Here, John Travolta wears a big fat suit playing Tracy's mom. Unlike the original movie (where the role was played by the legendary drag queen Divine), Travolta plays it as un-campy as possible, so I felt a little deflated. The real gems of this movie are the quirky Christopher Walken as Tracy's dad and the fantastic performance of newcomer Nikki Blonsky.

There really is nothing memorable about this movie. Nothing crazy (even Travolta's turn at drag is dull) and no real memorable songs. But while you're watching it, your toes tap and you leave with a smile on your face.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.