The third time is the charm for the most recent “Hairspray,” directed by Adam Shankman. Originally a 1988 John Waters film that launched Ricki Lake to stardom, then a Broadway musical made from the Waters movie, this new film takes on a new look staying true the 1960’s.
We wake up with the ever-bubbly Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) and quickly learn with the opening song “Good Morning Baltimore,” that she wants more than anything in the world to be on TV as she dances and sings around her neighborhood. When at school, she watches the time go by, counting down the minutes to the end when she and best friend, Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes), can go home and watch “The Corny Collins Show.” Corny Collins (James Marsden) and his ‘council’ of teenage dancers are the cool kids in town and Tracy would not want anything more than to dance with them on TV. She gets her chance when she is able to show off the moves she learned from Penny’s love interest Seaweed (Elijah Kelley), one of the performers of ‘Negro Day’, organized by Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah) on “The Corny Collins Show.”
After joining the show she is ready to have everyone embrace people who are different—mainly large people and people of different color—and with her upbeat personality she makes other people want change too all except for Mrs. Von Trapp, the sadistic general manager of the station and they butt heads throughout the movie. But with the help of her friends and family Tracy does not get discouraged.
Her mother, Edna Turnblad (John Travolta) has been traditionally been a man in drag and John Travolta does not hold anything back in his fat suit. He is still light on his feet with moves that could be straight out of “Saturday Night Fever.” Her father (Christopher Walken) does an impeccable job of remaining the faithful, hilarious, and supportive husband and father to the Turnblad ladies.
Link Larkin (Zac Efron), is Tracy’s love interest. He is the handsome star of the ‘council’ on “The Corny Collins Show.” After officially meeting they become friends and even he cannot resist supporting integration. Along with him, Penny, Seaweed, Her parents, and Motormouth Maybelle Tracy tackles the rest of the world bringing up fairly dark issues discussed while singing and dancing.