Sunday, July 22, 2007

Movie Review of Hairspray

Caught Hairspray last night with my good buddy, AY, and loved it!!! I knew I would like it because I had seen the stage version when it toured in SF. The songs are super catchy and fun (which reminds me - I've got to download that from iTunes), the costumes and hairdos (hello hair!) are super cute, and the dancing was awesome! (Needless to say, I didn't mind the Hairspray-overload week on So You Think You Can Dance.)

Plus - check out the cast! They did a superb job with this one. Star Nikki Blonsky is adorable in the lead role of Tracy Turnblad and sort of reminds me of a teenage version of Curly Sue. She could definitely shake it. Amanda Bynes plays her peppy best friend, Brittany Snow makes good use of her American Dreams experience and plays the lead dancer on the TV dance show, and Zac Efron (from Disney Channel's tween-popular High School Musical) plays her beau and TV heartthrob.

Then you've got James Marsden (The Notebook) who plays the TV host Corny Collins, Queen Latifah who shines again with some great singing like she did in Chicago, Michelle Pfeiffer who I haven't seen in a movie musical since Grease 2, and of course, Christopher Walken who plays Tracy's dad. There were also some fun cameos by John Waters and Ricki Lake from the original Hairspray film.

But honestly, for me, the biggest star performance came from good 'old John Travolta, who plays Tracy's mom, Edna Turnblad. I've never seen an actor so comfortable in both drag AND a fat suit - while singing and dancing, no less! It truly was amazing. (If not a little bit freaky - especially in the "romantic" song and dance number with him and Christopher Walken.) It was really interesting to see him in this role, especially since earlier that day, I had caught a little bit of Staying Alive (sequel to Saturday Night Fever where Tony Manero is now an aspriring Broadway dancer) where his physique was just a tad bit different. So even if you're not into movie musicals, you still may want to check this out just to catch Travolta's performance. Especially when he channels some serious Tina Turner moves in the finale.

I've heard a lot of comparisons with this movie and Grease. I could see that. You've got a lot of kids singing and dancing in a high school setting. Also similar to Grease are all those subtle, tongue-in-cheek jokes that you may not catch right away if you're a youngin'. (Or maybe you would - kids are very different today, after all!)

On top of all that, this movie does cover a more serious message. The whole premise of the movie is overcoming the obstacles to make the move from the segregated worlds of the blacks and whites to a fully integrated one. And they do it in a very fun way!

Anyway, I highly recommend - go check it out!

0 fascinating comment(s) from my friends: