Day: December 31, 2007

Spice Curls: Review for "Hairspray"

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First Hairspray was a cult movie by oddball director, John Waters, famous for some of the most offensive cult films. Then it became a Broadway smash, winning 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Now, it is a movie, based on the musical. It’s Hairspray! Young Tracy Turnblad (brilliant newcomer, Nikki Blonsky) has high hopes on getting on the local dance show, The Corny Collins Show. She is, however, different. She’s rather plump, but that doesn’t stop her. She also has a crush on the most popular guy in school, Elvis like, and star of The Corny Collins Show, Link Larson (Zac Efron, High School Musical). Her best friend, Penny (Amanda Bynes) is intent on getting Tracy on the show. Tracy is open minded and free spirited, which means trouble when you’re in 1962. She’s “all for intergration. It’s the new frontier!” Velma von Tussel (Michelle Pfeifer), conservative, racist manager of the show, spits back, “Not in Baltimore it isn’t!” The interesting thing in all the versions of the film is that it fights racism and gets your attention while entertaining you. The song, “I Know Where I’ve Been” is very powerful, and Queen Latifah crooning it makes it ten times more so. She was excellent in Chicago, and she’s great here. Nikki has a good voice, considering this is her first time on film and singing songs like “Good Morning Baltimore”. One annoying thing however about yyoung Blonsky is that in almost every song, she tries to sound too professional, making (or trying) asound that sounds way too weird, like a strange thrusting noise. She has a good voice already, but does she have to exaggerate it. Corny Collins (James Marsden) is the host and wants Negro day eliminated…he wants his show to be intergrated, as oposed to a once a month thing. One thing unbelievable about this film however is when the show is finally mixed at the end, there are no protesters or people gawking and getting all mad. Sure, some do indeed gape, but none really make moves to do some of the people responsible in. John Travolta takes a turn as Edna Turnblad, and he’s perfect. His Edna is perky and cute and worried about her daughter and her weight in a realistic fashion. It’s very endearing to see John and Christopher Walken waltz to “You’re Timeless to Me”. Though there isn’t as much chemistry as some actors may have done, it’s a nice substitute anyways. It’s a very cute song. But another thing unbelievable that worries me a little is a teenage heart throb or popular girl falling in love with a plump nery kid. I don’t really think that would happen in schools today, with so much jealousy going around, but it makes a nice story. It’s a great musical.
Grade: A-
Blonsky: B+