Hairspray (1988)Closed Captioning
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It's Baltimore, 1962, and a rebellious "pleasantly plump" teenager with the biggest bouffant on the block, Tracy (Daytime Emmy Award-nominee Ricki Lake - "Serial Mom," TV's "The Ricki Lake Show") attempts to be one of the featured stars on a popular dance show and win the coveted "Miss Auto Show" crown as she fights against racial discrimination in this film written and directed by John Waters ("Cry Baby," "Serial Mom") in an ode to the dance craze of the 60's. Featuring Divine ("Polyester," "Pink Flamingos") in his/her last gender-bending role as Tracy's mother. Also starring Emmy-nominee Sonny Bono ("The Sonny and Cher Comedy hour"), Emmy-nominee Jerry Stiller ("Zoolander," TV's "Seinfeld"), and Deborah Harry of the legendary rock band Blondie.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 36
- Fresh: 35
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 7.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The actors are best when they avoid exaggeration and remain weirdly sincere. That way, they do nothing to break the vibrant, even hallucinogenic spell of Mr. Waters's nostalgia.
Fresh: When Divine's Edna Turnblad is on-screen in the sleeveless dresses she's partial to, the movie has something like the lunacy of a W. C. Fields in drag.
Fresh: Waters writes warmth into his caricatures, lifting Hairspray above cartoon cult.
Fresh: The movie is a bubble-headed series of teenage crises and crushes, alternating with historically accurate choreography of such forgotten dances as the Madison and the Roach.
Shake your Tail-feathers!
this movie is a classic, and is amazing.. the musical is fantasitic and has great music. The movie isnt as musicaly, but it is worth buying or renting.. the cast is fantasic, and the story line is amazing. this truly is a 5 star film...
John Water's OTHER masterpiece!!!
Yes, John Waters will forever be linked to his uproarious, campy, proto-punk, borderline porno/snuff magnum opus of filth that is his legendary "Pink Flamingos". A film whose production values are so low budget and raw that people truly thought that it was for real, and that Divine and her family of perverts lived in a trailer dedicated to a life of depravity.
This film is actually the kickoff of John Waters 2.0 where he decided to make a real, heartwarming, honest to God PG rated comedy yet keep his trademark subversiveness. And he succeeded BRILLIANTLY. The grit, soul, and beat of early 60's Baltimore comes in full flavor and there isn't a location, dance move, line of dialogue or hairdo (!!!) that doesn't seem authentic. Divine (in his final, and possibly best performance) doesn't make Edna Turblad a caracture or a punchline...he makes her an authentic, hardworking, tough yet loving, Baltimore housewife whose life is her husband (a wonderful Jery Stiller) and daughter (an enchanting Ricki Lake in her 1st movie). Besides that...the movie is hilarious, romantic, has endlessly quoteable dialogue ("My diet pill is wearing off!"), is full of magnificent music, has flawless casting (Sonny Bono and Debbie Harry's performances are jaw dropping in their tackiness), and ranks right alongside Mel Brooks' classic Blazing Saddles in showing just how pitifully moronic racism truly is. I've watched and loved this film consistantly for over 20 years and I plan to watch and love it for at least 20 more.
"Ooooh papa toonie we got a loonie!"
There is no other Hairspray than this one... It's a classic!! Best cast indeed! So cheesy and funny!!! I love this movie and highly recommend it! If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest that you rent it first... because NOT EVERYONE gets this humor...