Hairspray (review by Gert McQueen)

Welcome to the 60’s. That’s HAIR SPRAY!

2007, 116 min., PG. is on the shelf at the Sally Ploof Hunter Memorial
Library in Black River NY

This edition stars John Travolta! And Nicki Blonsky, who plays Tracy the
mover and grover of the story.

There are so many other great actors in this version that I don’t have
enough space to name them all! This 2007 version was SO MUCH FUN!

After seeing this version I looked at the movie from 1988 to get a comparison
feel. The 1988 version’s main character is played by Ricki Lake who
actually is the best part of this version. We learn that ‘Hair spray gives
me some control’ and that’s the greatest appeal of the story, taking some
kind of personal ‘control’ over larger events. To my tastes, this edition
does not have the same feel, class, emotional pull or FUN as the 2007 version
does.

HAIR SPRAY tells a story about the changes in social-mores, which were
happening in the early 60’s, similar to what GREASE portrayed for the
50’s. And John Travolta is in both! This is first rate musical ‘coming of
age story’ filled with great songs and dances, with many references to
those ‘days of innocence’ and the new changes that are happening.

Who didn’t get ‘caught’ smoking in the bathroom or more? Who didn’t
have ‘family dynamics’ to deal with, or rebel against appearances or take
a stand on ‘new’ thoughts? It reminds us that life is about changes, good
and bad; all that can be scary! But we can accept change without compromising
our basic ‘self’.

John Travolta and Christopher Walken are just wonderful in their dance
sequence. Why? Because they play ‘husband and wife’; so campy! They are
like Fred and Ginger, singing and dancing to ‘You’re timeless to me’!
Travolta has NOT lost his step! When he sings and dances with ‘daughter’
Tracy to ‘Hey Mama, welcome to the 60s’ which goes into ‘I like the way
I am’ and right into ‘You can’t stop the beat’, it is song and dance
bliss! Such delight.

The storyline is easy to follow while it reflects on the changes in music and
race-relationships. Hair Spray can be seen as a symbol of the hypocrisy of
the times, just before the ‘summer of love’.  It also can be seen as a
timeless version that we all go through in life’s journey with
‘changes’; you can’t stop the beat!

If you want a FUN movie this is one for you!