Media Maven: “Hairspray” Movie Review
Nikki Blonsky, Allison Janney, Elijah Kelley, Zac Efron, Brittany Snow Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Travolta
"Hairspray" is a remake of the John Waters original screenplay from 1988. It is the story of one spunky girl who teaches the people in the city of Baltimore about integration in the 1960s. This movie is FUN! FUN! FUN!
"Hairspray" offers all the amenities of any first rate musical production. There are fabulous dance scenes and spectacular singing. Authentic, colorful wardrobes brilliantly reflect the style of the free loving sixties. Crew cuts, duck tails, bangs, bobs and flips are in abundance.
This film is an ensemble production joining both the talented over "40" stars and the dynamism of the newest breed of actors. It is fun to see the veterans sashaying across the screen and singing in perfect sync with the younger members of the cast.
Michelle Pfiefer as the conniving stage mother has a hilarious scene trying to seduce the absent minded Christopher Walken. Christopher Walken treats us to a sublimely sweet song and dance number with his beloved wife. John Travolta as the lead's mother and Christopher Walken's soul mate gives a mellifluous performance as a caring mother and a tenderhearted human being.
Enough about the oldsters! Let's get to the youngsters! Newcomer Nikki Blonsky popped this performance right out of the ballpark. Whenever she opened her mouth to sing, out came such passion, energy and joy! Reviving the role which made Ricki Lake famous in the original, Blonsky plays the lead character, Tracy Turnblad. Zac Efron plays Link, her love interest and Brittany Snow, Marc Madsen, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley and Queen Latifah give it their all in providing a solid support of talent and flair.
Fun Stuff: Ricki Lake makes a cameo appearance, as does John Waters. (Hint: John Waters goes by in a flash!) Allison Janney, who plays the uptight character Prudence, is a fellow Ohioan and went to Kenyan College where Paul Newman casted her in a play he was directing. Jerry Stillar has a small part in this movie and also played the lead character of Wilbur Turnblad in the original film. And yes, that is John Travolta doing all of his own dance moves. This is quite amazing seeing him sway by light as a feather in a fat suit that he wore in every scene weighing 30 pounds!
As musicals go; this movie shone bright and rates five chic stars!
Jan's Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don't bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.