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HAIRSPRAY - 2007

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J. ThorburnV. AlexanderPolly Peluso
Shannon OnstotJacqueline M

SHANNON ONSTOT

Shannon OnstotHAIRSPRAY

By
Shannon Onstot
Community Relations Manager
KUNV 91.5 FM
University of Nevada Las Vegas
email:
smonstot@yahoo.com

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil  

Hairspray has been a media tornado, a film so hyped-up, so over-the-top, and so in-your-face that I was sure it was going to be a big flop. Now, it's rare, but I have been proven wrong before, and in this case the 2007 production of Hairspray managed to do it. The music definitely won me over, albeit slowly, and the acting was better than I expected it to be. Nothing Oscar-worthy mind you, but still not horrible. John Waters' classic 1988 story is obviously superior to this production, but for all its silliness and cheeseball smiles, I couldn't help but fall in love all over again with Tracy Turnblad.

The film opens with a song, and we are introduced to Tracy (Nikki Blonsky). Her hair is high, her smile is huge and her energy cannot be surpressed. She is ready to take on the city of Baltimore and itching to show the world her dance moves. Her best friend Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes) is always willing to go along for the ride, despite her oppressive mother. The inseparable duo is obsessed with The Corny Collins show, an even goofier version of American Bandstand, and dance along with Corny (James Marsden), Link Larkin (Zac Efron) and Amber Von Tussle (Brittany Snow) every day after school.

When one of the regulars on the show is going to be out for nine months (wink wink), Tracy jumps at the chance to audition for the show, but is shot down right away by Amber's witch of a mother, station manager Velma Von Tussle (Michelle Pfeiffer). Tracy doesn't give up of course, but continues to be optimistic about her chance to dance on the show, become famous, and eventually make Link Larkin fall in love with her. One day Tracy is sent to detention where she meets Seaweed (Elijah Kelley) and a dozen other black students. She joins in on the dance party they've set up in the classroom and starts learning some of their moves. She starts going to detention more often, then uses her borrowed moves to finally land her on The Corny Collins Show. Tracy is not shy about her stance on integration, and Velma Von Tussle is adamant on keeping the show segregated, so they butt heads and Tracy begins her journey into the world of political action.

I thought that this film would be squeaky clean and fun for the whole family, which it is, to a certain extent. There are a few moments of truly tasteless comedy that made me feel like John Waters' vision was not completely lost. In fact, he makes a very brief cameo which made me feel like he's given the musical version his blessings. The much talked about decision to have the character of Edna Turnblad played by a man (John Travolta) also gave the film a little edge that it definitely needed. John Travolta turned the hilariously willful character of Edna into an anxious blushing mess, and I can't decide whether I liked his performance or not. Mainly, it was always in the back of my mind that it was John Travolta in a fat suit and a dress, not much more.

The character of Velma Von Tussle has been completely vamped up though, and Michelle Pfeiffer gave her a delightfully devious attitude that I absolutely loved (although felt a little guilty about) and she helped make up for Edna's lack of oomph.

My favorite performance in this film definitely came from Elijah Kelley as Seaweed. Kelley has a true talent for musical theatre, and it came across beautifully on screen. He has a spark, and a velvety voice that made me want to see the production live. Not being a fan of Big Screen Broadway movies, it's usually very hard for me to get into the music and truly appreciate it separately from the film. Kelley, as well as Queen Latifah (who also has a stellar voice) really stood out as musical performers and I loved all of their songs. The rest of the cast (except for Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky who was too cute to hate) was too cheesy for words, and a lot of their musical numbers fell flat.

It's hard to keep yourself from smiling when Tracy Turnblad is filling the world with hope again. You can't deny the great messages that Hairspray (both versions) continues to teach people. Big can be beautiful, believe in yourself, all you need is love, and of course: segregation never; integration now! The messages of equality in all forms are still what make Hairspray important for this generation to see too. For having such a high standard to live up to in the original film, I think that the writer, director and score-writers could have done a whole lot worse. This version cannot ever compare to John Waters' original cult classic, but as it stands on its' own, Hairspray 2007 is a fun old fashioned good time and I can't deny that my foot was tapping and that I couldn't stop smiling as I walked out.

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil
Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil  

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J. ThorburnV. AlexanderPolly Peluso
Shannon OnstotJacqueline M

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