Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Overlooked Movies -- Hairspray

Summertime is rerun time, USA.  Here's one from December 23, 2007.

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.


Cap'n Bob said...

You know why I wouldn't get within a mile of it.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I liked it too, though the original version with Ricki Lake, Divine, Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, and the great Pia Zadora ("When I get high I am Odetta!") is the one I'd choose.

Les Edgerton said...

I love Waters' movies, but I rank this as his second-best (speaking of the original--didn't know they had a remake), behind Polyester, which is one of the funniest and most innovative movies of all time (scratch 'n sniff movie).

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Les-it is not a remake. It was made into a Broadway musical and this is the film version of that.

Anders E said...

John Waters' original is probably my favorite feelgood movie. This musical version is certainly not bad but sometimes I wish they had gone for PINK FLAMINGOS instead. Just imagine John Travolta in that infamous dog scene at the end.