As the rest of the movie industry goes down the drain, parents don’t have to worry as long as High School Musical clones keep being made. At least, that’s what I thought before I went to see Hairspray. Even John Travolta and Christopher Walken were no consolation, I had already stubbornly decided that HSM had ruined Hollywood and Hairspray was but a sad, sad clone. Zac Efron’s appearance in Hairspray did nothing but confirm my misgivings.
Much to my surprise, I found myself being entertained and even laughing out loud at this corny adaptation of a stage adaptation of a movie. But what would appear to be a cheesy movie with all the right pieces for a cut-and-paste kid's movie, turns out to be one hell of a winner. My despise for Efron and his High School Musicalness was ripped out from under me as I was actually impressed by his performance. Chris Walken and larger-that-life Travolta make for a hilarious pair, and newcomer Nikki Blonsky isn’t half-bad either. Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley, and Queen Latifah all make equally pleasing appearances. I also especially enjoyed James Marsden’s surprising role in Hairspray. Girls might recognize him from The Notebook, and guys from X-Men.
As out-of-place as it sounds, Hairspray does an excellent job at addressing more than one serious issue in a way that makes people see it in a new light. Boldly taking on racism head-on and showing people not just the damages racial prejudice can inflict, but also showing the good having an open heart and mind can bring. Get ready to be knocked off your feet by this seemingly light film, and sit down for a heavy talk about doing the right thing. Keep an eye out for Efron and Blonsky, they just might surprise you.
Conclusion: Go ahead and see it, because you won't regret it.
Rated PG for language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking.
- The song in the film titled "You Can't Stop the Beat" was nicknamed by some of the actors as "You Can't Stop to Breathe" because of the high tempo of the song and the amount of words to be sung.
- Amanda Bynes' character, Penny, is seen constantly eating suckers. Her father, who is a dentist, became worried for Amanda's dental health, as it was estimated she ate about 40 suckers a day. Amanda told him that she wasn't really eating all of them, when in reality she ate them all.