Hairspray (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

Review byMatthew Turner20/07/2007

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Brilliantly written, superbly acted and achingly funny, this is a terrifically entertaining musical that will have you grinning from ear to ear throughout.

What's it all about?
Based on the 1988 John Waters movie and the award-winning Broadway musical, Hairspray is set in Baltimore in 1962 and stars newcomer Nikki Blonsky as big-haired, big-hearted Tracy Turnblad, a full-figured girl whose only dream is to be a dancer on the Corny Collins Show – a dream that's encouraged by her loving parents, Edna (John Travolta in a dress and a fat suit) and Wilbur (Christopher Walken).

However, after winning a spot on the show, Tracy has her eyes opened to the issue of racial inequality and vows to do something about it, much to the consternation of the show's scheming producer Velma (Michelle Pfeiffer).

The Good
The songs (courtesy of Marc Shaiman, the genius behind the South Park movie songs) are toe-tappingly terrific throughout and the cast perform with such joyously infectious enthusiasm that's impossible not to be swept along. Nikki Blonsky is a real find – if they gave Oscars for Best Newcomer she'd win it hands down.

Alongside Blonsky, director Adam Shankman has assembled a terrific ensemble cast and they each get a chance to shine but the stand-outs are Travolta (whose weird accent only adds to his hilarious performance) and the always wonderful Walken. Their duet together is a definite highlight and Walken really makes you believe in his love for Travolta in a fat suit.

The Great
The script is screamingly funny and there are several wonderful gags and quotable lines. It's also great that Amanda Bynes has finally found a suitable vehicle for her mugging skills – she's superb as Tracy's best friend Penny, whose relationship with a black classmate inspires Tracy's stand against racial inequality.

Worth seeing?
This is a terrific film that will have you singing, dancing and laughing all the way home. It's easily one of the best films of the year. Unmissable.

Film Trailer

Hairspray (PG)
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Content updated: 22/04/2019 06:11

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