It's hard not to like a movie as full of good will as this one, which presents 1962 as it never was but as it should have been: clean, colorful, and pretty much harmless, with lots of singing and dancing. It had me right from the first scene when Tracey (Nikki Blonsky) jumps out of bed with a smile on her face and a song in her heart.
Luckily for the audience, Tracey shares the song with us, and the whole opening sequence is bouncy with infectious happiness. In fact, the whole movie is bouncy and happy, and it carried me right along with it. I loved the colors, the songs, the dancing, and the actors, even John Travolta in his fat suit.
I liked the earlier version of the movie, too, the one with Ricki Lake, who turns up in a cameo. So does John Waters in another brief bit I liked. The plot in this one is pretty much the same, about the dance party TV program, the racism, and the beauty contest, but the energy and enthusiasm of the cast are what carry the show. If you need cheering up, this is one you can watch and get results.