Hairspray

"When you follow your own beat, the world will follow you."

It's 1962. Awareness of black folks' talents and gifts is being shoved in the corner in favor of the "right" people (read "white" people). Awareness of those who are different (as in slightly plump and lives on the wrong side of town) is being ignored in favor of those who look the same as everyone else (read thin and affluent). At the root of this plant is a hairspray company who only wants those advertising their wares to be of the best "quality" people. Certainly not a plump little girl who can dance circles around the "right" people. Most certainly not a group of black kids who can sing and dance circles around pretty much everyone.

Enter John Travolta, playing Edna Turnblad, and Christopher Walken, playing Wilbur Turnblad. As Tracy's parents, they come from another time and are unprepared for the upheaval of the '60s. They love their daughter Tracy, played by Nikki Blonsky, and slowly come to understand the problems she's diving into headfirst. They admire her integrity and strength of character, which opens their eyes and makes them join in the fun of opening the eyes of others.

Witness Michelle Pfeiffer, who was born on the right side of town, thin and beautiful. A widow with an equally beautiful daughter, Amber, played by Brittany Snow, Velma Von Tussle struggles to keep things the way they are. She struggles to keep things to her advantage and that of her daughter, whom she's training to be just like her. Amber goes along with it, until her own eyes are opened. She recognizes that things are changing and she want to see what happens.

The bond that draws everyone together is the Corny Collins show, a show not unlike American Bandstand. The kids sing and dance each week, with the black kids performing once per month. The competition is fierce for an open spot on the show, but Tracy wins it, then proceeds to open everyone's eyes. The black kids, ably assisted by Queen Latifah, get their chance to sing and dance.

PG
| 2007 | 1 hr 56 min | 6.7/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Adam Shankman
Language
English
Hairspray

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