Watch Hairspray

"The world was in a mess... but their hair was perfect!!"
  • PG
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.0  (23,207)
  • 77

Hairspray is a 1988 American comedy-drama film directed by John Waters. The movie is set in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland and follows the story of a "pleasantly plump" teenager named Tracy Turnblad (played by Divine) who has a passion for dancing on a local TV show called "The Corny Collins Show." Despite her mother's disapproval, Tracy is determined to be part of the show and becomes a regular dancer on the program.

The show is run by Corny Collins (played by Shawn Thompson) who is looking for a new star performer. Tracy's friend Penny Pingleton (played by Leslie Ann Powers) suggests that Tracy audition for the role, and despite her weight, she impresses Corny and is offered the spot.

Tracy's newfound fame does not sit well with Amber Von Tussle (played by Colleen Fitzpatrick) who is the lead dancer on the show and the daughter of the racist producer, Velma Von Tussle (played by Debbie Harry). Amber and her mother are determined to keep the show segregated and prevent African American teens from participating.

Tracy, however, believes that everyone should have the opportunity to dance on the show and becomes involved in the civil rights movement, fighting against the prejudices that are holding back her African American friends. She teams up with Seaweed J. Stubbs (played by Clayton Prince), a black dancer on the show, and his mother Motormouth Maybelle (played by Ruth Brown) to protest against the racist policies of the show.

Other notable characters in the film include Tracy's eccentric parents, played by Sonny Bono and Divine, who are supportive of her rebellion, and her love interest, Link Larkin (played by Michael St. Gerard), a handsome dancer on the show who is torn between his attraction to Tracy and pressure from Amber's parents to stay away from her.

Hairspray is a film that confronts issues of racism and discrimination, using humor, music and dance to convey its message. It is a heartwarming story that celebrates the power of individuality and the importance of standing up for what one believes in.

The film is known for its impressive cast, quirky characters, and catchy soundtrack featuring classic songs such as "The Madison" and "You Can't Stop the Beat." The styling and fashion of the 1960s is also a prominent feature of the film, adding to its overall appeal.

Hairspray was well received by both audiences and critics, earning numerous awards and nominations. It was followed by a successful stage musical adaptation and a 2007 film version directed by Adam Shankman.

Overall, Hairspray is a film that is not only entertaining but also meaningful. Its universal message of acceptance and equality resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, making it a classic that will continue to be celebrated for years to come.

Hairspray is a 1988 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 77.

Where to Watch Hairspray
Hairspray is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Hairspray for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (23,207)
  • Metascore