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Movie Review: Hairspray

Alternate Title: So You Think You Can Dance?

Story: John Waters should be one happy fella. His 1988 film, Hairspray has lost none of its charm, kitsch or energy in its latest form.The pedigree of this film is long. It was first a film, then a Broadway musical and now it is has been brought back to the big screen by director Adam Shankman (screenplay by Leslie Dixon, based on the musical by Mark O'Donnell).

We had a blast. It was a toe tapping musical romp filled with fun, smiles and spunk. It pretended to be nothing other than what it was meant to be. The message was still there. Segregation is wrong - integration is the future.The
cinematography by Bojan Bazelli was fun for the eye. It was manic, but in an energy packed manner.

For some light summer entertainment that is good for the whole family - go see it and smile.

Acting: Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad was perfect. From her opening number to the closing credits she radiated good spirit and a lightness of being. Her performance alone is worth the price of admission. John Travolta as her mother was terrific. His feet did not fail him even in a fat suit. Christopher Walken as Tracy's Dad was a delight. He always makes me laugh regardless what role he is playing. Queen Latifa hit just the right chords in her role as Motor Mouth Mabelle. Michelle Pfeiffer looked like she was having a blast as Cat Woman on speed. Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley were all terrific in their respective roles. I laughed when I saw some of the original Hairspray cast appear in cameos including Rikki Lake, Jerry Stiller and of course, the man himself, John Waters.

Predilection: I like John Waters.

Critters: A cat

Food: Lots of food including pork, ribs, corn, kale and muffins.

Soundtrack: The music by Marc Shaiman was peppy and fun.

Opening Titles: The credits are all at the end and I encourage you to stay to watch.

Visual Art: The attention to detail of the period was terrifically kitsch.

Theater Audience: An integrated handful of late afternoon movie goers. My movie buddy remarked " I hope the film is not pixelated" when she saw it was a New Line Cinema production (which is a division of Time Warner). I roared at that remark as both of us have Time Warner as our cable provider and it brings us an awful lot of pixelated TV.

Weather: The weather was perfect in 1962 Baltimore.

Sappy Factor: 2

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I was entertained throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Maybe

Nit Picking: Why was John Travolta the only one with a Baltimore accent?

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen is a MUST. For some of John Waters' other films check out these titles: Hag in a Black Leather Jacket, Roman Candles, Eat Your Makeup, Mondo Trasho, The Diane Linkletter Story, Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. DeMented, A Dirty Shame

Length: Under two hours.