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Friday, May 6, 2016

Movie Review - Hairspray

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Movie Review - Hairspray

Rated PG and runs one hour and 47 minutes.

Starring John Travolta, Nikki Blonsky, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, James Marsden, Zac Efron, and MORE!

Directed by Adam Shankman

Hairspray is the kind of movie that you just can't get enough of. That is, if you like catchy, infectious song and dance. If tapping your foot and humming along sounds like an allergic reaction, Hairspray is best taken in old form. Because, this new show is not the first of its kind, but rather the newest of it's kind.

Hairspray was originally a movie that was written and directed by John Waters. It starred Ricki Lake in her first movie and was not a musical but featured a few more songs than a normal show. It was a commentary on how the 60's were and have been portrayed as an innocent time, but beneath the innocence it was a particularly vicious and cruel time for racial hate. The original movie was turned into a broadway smash by completely revamping the story into a full-blown musical. The story lines stayed completely intact and the songs only improved the show. Years later, Hollywood decided to take the broadway version and make it into a movie musical. The film has come full circle.

It's not hard to describe Hairspray. A large girl and her mother, played by John Travolta (yes, it is as weird as can be imagined) fight and bicker about dancing. The young girl, Tracy, auditions and finally gets a spot on the Corny Collins Show, which features white teenagers dancing to new music with the occasional negro day. Eventually, jealousy and other emotions push Tracy and her family into crisis as her friends rally behind her. She uses her strength to protest that the show will not allow white and black kids dancing together. It all ends in a whirl as everything works out for Tracy.

With all of its instant likability, the movie does slow down in the second half. The first half is wildly entertaining, while the second half starts to lose its appeal, but brings it back just in enough time to end. It feels like the music writers got tired after writing the first part of the show and cut corners to finish it up. This is a very slight problem as you are still smiling and enjoying yourself through the lag time.

The movie is an excellent blend of the hugely popular new school musical style with the older more refined MGM grand musical style. I went into the show expecting less and came out wanting more. I highly recommend this show and the soundtrack. The tunes can stand on their own and worth purchasing. Playful and campy, Hairspray is like a new Grease, but this time, John Travolta plays the old mother and still shimmies and shakes.

Check it out at Cinema 3 in the Westview Plaza McCook. Showing nightly at 7 pm, check out other showtimes at www.fridleytheatres.com. Also, don't forget to check out the new Halloween film. Another bright remake of an older film. From what I saw, it appears to have payed tribute to the original.

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