Based on the Tony-award-winning musical, I remember being drawn to the film simply because of its Broadway connection. Of course, nothing beats a live stage performance, but as screen musicals go, Hairspray is as upbeat and fun as they come.
I had no idea racism and overcoming segregation were such an integral part of the plot, but it worked really well alongside Tracy’s struggle to be recognized for her talent in the face of her larger frame. As a whole, the movie was very well acted, but I especially admired the work of the delightfully wicked Michelle Pfeiffer, and believably genuine newcomer Nikki Blonsky. John Travolta in drag as Tracy’s mother took some getting used to, and I may have to agree with critics that said Travolta in this role was stunt-casted; his presence seemed to subvert all of the sincerity Blonsky was exhibiting. Lastly, the choice of Zac Efron for the part of teen pin-up Link Larkin was an easy way to inflate audiences with the High School Musical-mad set (though I’m not just referring to tweens – it seems Dickson has quite the man-crush on Efron).
Hairspray isn’t a must-see, but if you’re looking for a movie that will leave you with a smile on your face, this is it.