Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dancing in the Streets: Hairspray

Hairspray (Advance Screening)
Directed by Adam Shankman
To be released July 20, 2007

The new version of "Hairspray" (the only one I have ever seen) is a foot-tapping, full-blown musical experience from its opening moments. The songs are bouncy and fun, not necessarily as sophisticated as those from say "Dreamgirls" or "Chicago", but it is still highly entertaining. The audience certainly loved it, especially John Travolta's cross-dressing performance as Edna Turnblad. Travolta is really great in that part, and he is supported by a fairly even and well-rounded cast. Christopher Walken does not have too much material as Edna's husband, but he does a fine enough job. Michelle Pfeiffer is fun as an evil television executive, and Brittany Snow ("American Dreams") is pretty perfectly cast as her daughter. Zac Efron, famous from "High School Musical", is a good male icon for the film's younger cast, and he fits very well into the time period (as does everyone, which is a rarity). Even Amanda Bynes is pretty good. I personally liked James Marsden as TV personality Corny Collins, who perfectly captured the "corniness" of the era. But of course the real star here is newcomer Nikki Blonsky, as main character Tracy, who is energetic the entire time and really dedicated to the role. There is a massive undercurrent of political material here, but the film might better be absorbed just taken as a buoyant musical.



ASL Mom said...

Hey Abe,
Have you seen the original John Waters film? I would love to see you contrast the two!

Movies with Abe said...

I have not seen the original, sorry. If I do see it, I will certainly compare the two.