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Hairspray 2007

Pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show...

Release Date:
July 20, 2007
117 min
Adam Shankman
Jerry Stiller, Queen Latifah, James Marsden, ...
Comedy, Musical, Romance ...

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 8.6


Imdb rating: 6.8

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We all watch lots of movies at home -- thank goodness for TV and video stores! -- but in this blog series I'll attempt to log all the theatrical flicks I catch, and sneak screenings!!

Now, I'm the first to admit I don't see nearly as many films in their first week of release as I'd like; it's something I'm working on, like a year-round resolution. So maybe this blog business will encourage me to go out (as I should) and see every single movie ever made!

See what I mean?

Well, maybe you have to see it to understand. If you're reading this and you're a girl, then maybe you already do. Sigh.

And before anyone hates on my new boy crush, YES I already know he's only 19 years old (20 in October). Shia's getting a little too old for me now :)
But really everyone should see this movie it has amazing actors in it amazing music and its just an all around amazing movie! 5 stars
RATING (0 to ****): ***1/2

Finally, somebody did it right! After sitting through such disappointing screen adaptations of Broadway favorites like "Rent" and "The Producers", Adam Shankman successfully translates the spirit, fun and music of the Broadway hit "Hairspray" to cinema- without ever having the actors scream and gesture to the moon, or treating musical numbers like they're music videos.

Comparisons aside, it's hard to hate "Hairspray", even if it doesn't have the best music or the most profound storyline. It gives you characters to cheer for, with festively plump Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky in her debut role) earning a spot on a popular TV show in the 60's, which leads her to start the fight for racial integration on the show. On the opposite side, Michelle Pfeiffer never permits the hint of a smile on her face, but just by her acting you know she's having fun with her 110% bitchy, evil TV producer Velma Von Tussle who- yes, you guessed it- fears the integration and will have it stop by any means necessary. But above all, she wants her daughter, Amber (Brittany Snow), to win the Miss Hairspray pageant on the show.

On the subject of acting, John Travolta in drag is, of course, going to make waves (even if the role has been traditionally played by male actors in drag since Divine). His performance is hit-and-miss, and given how most of the time, I couldn't stop thinking "this is John Travolta" instead of "this is Tracy's mother" (or even paying attention to the dialogue), I'd say it's mostly "miss". Christopher Walken as Tracy's extremely supportive dad fares slightly better, and he never has more fun than at the joke shop he owns.

Queen Latifah yet again plays herself, and her role somehow managed to be there all along. But what can I say, she's always enjoyable to watch!

Now, the way it works: the amount of fun you're having is the amount of fun the actors are having. "Hairspray" noticeably slows down at certain points, but the rest of the time you will fight your toes' irresistable urge to tap as the music bursts through the speakers and the energetic choreography pops onto the screen! Its big, lengthy finish makes you want an encore, but you'll sadly have to make do with the ending credits and the extra songs present there.

If you love musicals, love a fun time at the movies, or just want to get out of the summer heat, you really don't want to miss "Hairspray"!

MPAA: PG (language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking)
Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes (107 minutes of "real movie")

I have taken so much time on crediting the cast because this is what makes the film work as well as it did. Everyone is so talented and they all have such great chemistry together that they give the film an energy that propels it along. The second big success was getting Adam Shankman as a director/choreographer. This is a man that clearly has a passion for musicals and knows what he is doing. I found the choreography and dancing to be better than in the Broadway show. From the great 60s look of the film to the perfectly timed pacing, this film was tightly made and sleekly packaged.

Following Tracey as she gains a spot dancing on the Corny Collins show to her encounter with racism and the Civil Rights movement, the film deals with big issues in a light, breezy manor. Many critics have praised its "innocence" and I understand where they are coming from. For me it was refreshing to see a film that wasn't concerned with being "important." Its message is by all means good natured and what is says about image and race certainly is, but it's more concerned with being light, breezy fun summer entertainment. And entertain it does, I feel that this is one of the best movie musicals to come out in a while and definitely one of the best films of the summer. Try to watch this film without smiling, I dare you.
Hairspray (2007 dir. Adam Shankman): 8/10

*1 Adam Shankman Film Seen*
I thought it was a great movie. My girls loved the movie as well. My one question though, is why did they cast John Travolta to play the mother. He did a pretty good job, but couldn't they have found a full figured women to play that part?
Starring Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Brittany Snow, Christopher Walkens, Allison Janney, James Marsden, and Jerry Stiller.
Directed by Adam Shankman. (Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Pacifier, Bringing Down the House, A Walk to Remember, and The Wedding Planner)
Rated PG.

You must see "Hairspray"! It is fun for the whole family and I know you will be dancing in your seat or at least smiling at pretty much every second of the movie! It is a joy and this summer's winner
YEAR: 2007
What's it worth? $7.90
First off, this film really deserves an eight or nine. But I just can't do it.

Hairspray is a fine film. It's a decent musical with good humor, nice scripting and fair enough acting. Fresh talent and good songs. Sadly, that's all the positive.

Hairspray is also a TEEEEEEEENY bit annoying at times. And, sorry to say, the new girl gets on my nerves.

The young talent is SUPREMELY wasted, and I feel Zac Efron didn't really become the bargaining chip he is. You're much better than this, Zac. I'm telling my friend's girlfriend to slap him on their next date.

Hooray for him branching out with detention line. GROW UP!

*ahem* I was extremely disturbed by John Travolta and . . . I felt like I was watching That's So Raven for half the time of this movie. (?)

Positive? Positive, positive. Nah. It was too peppy for the somber ocassion of . . . That Book We Do Not Speak Of.

What's it worth? $7.90
Was it disappointing? The tiiiiiiiiiiiiniest smidget
Would you watch it again? Oh, yeah. Of course.

RT Rating: 94%


Film Synopsis: "Hairspray" is originally based on the 1988 John Waters comedy about star-struck teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show. The new version of the film will be based on New Line's hit Broadway adaptation of the film, which debuted in 2002, and went on to win eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Director. Travolta will play Edna Turnblad and Queen Latifah will play Motormouth Maybelle in the film. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will contribute new songs to their Tony Award winning score

My Thoughts: You all know I loved Dreamgirls last year. Note, it has gone down in my book to a B+/A- doesnt hold up to well with repeat viewings and isnt..that much fun. Yes I said it. Fun, thats the reason why I was anticipating Hairspray the past couple of weeks so much, and also the 94% on RT doesnt hurt it. I have loved 2007 so far, cut the "its been dissapointing" bullshit. This year has been a blast, which yes stinkers left right and centers but gems around every corner. When I first saw the trailer for Hairspray I didnt think this would be good at all, and when the directors name came up, the director of the critically aclaimed Cheaper By The Dozen 2, you know that had to even brighten my sprirts.. note the sarcasim.

Though I did enjoy his very funny Bringing Down The House. I recently watched the original Hairspray, and yes this did top it. This is the adaptation of the Broadway adaptation of the original film and i think that was the smart way to do it. Yes, the whole cast basically breaks into songs every 10 minutes, but thats what the fun is..from the opening scene were Tracy wakes up singing, her beautiful belter Good Morning Baltimore to the ending smash dance number You Can't Stop The Beat, it is fun start to finish. When it comes to musical I have to love everything about it, the cast, the numbers, the dance routines, the wardrobe.. musicals arent an every day thing because rarely do you see people breaking into song in the street, so I want to feel taken out of this world into Chicago setting, Dreamgirls setting etc.. and thats why those work. And thats why Hairspray works as well, it takes you out of 2007, not completely but for your two full hour stay you feel its the 60's and your having a friggin blast.

Like the critics have been saying, you look like a fool in this movie because your honestly sitting there with this smile on your face from beginning to end and I just, who doesnt like that? The thing is, what really makes this film shine and it wouldnt have without anything else is the cast, and the direction. Yes, the direction. Adam was a choregrapher before he starting directing and seriously he should be banned from directing all other genres besides musicals, because this is his fortay. He has the songs timed perfectly, they never go on for too long really,just as your almost like "thats enough", it ends..the dancing is fantasitc, fits the era. The cast though, the cast!.

Travolta surprised the hell out of me, one his dancing, fantastic, and two I honestly believed he was a woman. Take that as a good or a negative, he fit this role to a T. Niki Blonsky in her break out role, and first one ever in a major film is fantastic, has the newbie smell but also feels like shes been doing this for years, her dancing as well.. very well done. Amanda Bynes, the love of my life is hilarious, her singing her great and she adds so much great comedic time, I just love her and wish I could see more of her, she has the aspect of being that dorky best friend but also a leading lady like Meg Ryan, rather more comparable to Bullock. Latifah is fantastic, Efron is good but underacting, and over singing but still he fit his role. Brittany Snow is great. Ms Michelle Pfeiffer is hilarious, seductive and very nice in her role. Walken is great..just there is so much positives to say about the cast and the whole film this could be my longest review ever. I just, this movie makes you happy, your tapping your toes, and if you know the soundtrack your singing along and your laughing and just..its just a good time, and its tough to go agianst the grain of the heavy F/X films we see every summer, but this is a nice relief even for me.


This is a wonderful movie. I left smiling and happy.
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