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Hairspray Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

July 15, 2014
Without a doubt, this is John Waters's best film, and he crafts something that is quite enjoyable, funny, entertaining and well worth your time. If you're familiar with Waters' filmography, you'll notice that he was more an exploitation, trash director who made some of film's most bizarre films. With Hairspray, he makes his most accessible picture, a film that is highly enjoyable, well acted and with a good story. The film may not be a perfect effort, but it does manage to be an entertaining film while using the theme segregation and racial issues as its backdrop for its story. With that, I thought it brought something serious to a comedy, and the way it handled it was very well done. John Waters has made his finest film yet with Hairspray, and this is a highly amusing entertaining film that is one of the finest musical comedies that I have seen. Every actor here brings something wonderful to the screen, and it's a satisfying film that will certainly appeal to any viewer looking for a pleasant time waster. Hairspray works well because it's a witty, funny picture with a message and it is a film that shows us that John Waters is a capable director who was able to shift from Exploitation to a more mainstream type of movie. Hairspray is worth seeing, and it's a film that surprised as I didn't expect to really enjoy it, but I did. If you're uncertain about John Waters, give this film a shot, it's easily one of his most accessible works, and with many well thought out characters, it's a memorable musical that ranks among the genres finest films.
366weirdmovies
366weirdmovies

Super Reviewer

March 18, 2014
A plus-sized teen dance sensation campaigns for "Miss Auto Show" and agitates for integration in 1963 Baltimore. This mockingly saccharine PG-rated effort from John Waters lacks his transgressive nastiness, but the tacky decor, elaborate hairstyles, and offbeat casting (Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, blues singer Ruth Brown, Divine in and out of drag) still reveal his arch worldview.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

March 24, 2013
The most interesting part of this movie for me was the cast. Like wow, Debbie Harry and Ric Ocasek were in this. It is definitely a weird Waters film, although it's PG. This is one of the strangest portrayals of the early 60s I have ever seen. I was expecting more singing, though, hearing from others that it's a musical and all. I didn't really get into this movie, but I guess others like it.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 22, 2006
The 1960s is one of my favorite decades. While I do prefer the latter half of the decade more (it just suits my sensibilities better), I can find much enjoyment in the first half, which, in many ways was not all that different from the 1950s.

John Waters is an interesting filmmaker who almost always makes a movie that is worth watching for various reasons. This nostalgic little trip to the days of dance shows and racial troubles is one such film. This may not be Waters's best film, but its very good, and actually sees him making an important film since it deals with a topic full of substance. It's also his most tame film, which is a pleasnt shock.

Here's the thing: even though this film addresses racial segregation, it is still a Waters film, thus it is dealt with in his usual campy way. This might be a problem for some, since it might come across as too silly and not serious enough, but I found the treatment to be delightfully fun, charming, and hilarious.

The time period is captured in an absolutely brilliant fashion, and the music and performances are dynamite. The cameos and casting are really fun (Ric Ocasek is a scream), and besides doing a great job, this gave Ricki Lake her big break. More importantly, the cast have great chemistry, and you can tell they had a lot of fun making this.

My grade is perhaps just a tad inflated, but I don't care. I got onto this film's wavelength and it entertained the hell out of me. I highly recommend giving this one a watch.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

December 13, 2008
The original is always best. Ricki Lake is the perfect Traci, and the drag is quiant.
MeetMeinMontauk
MeetMeinMontauk

Super Reviewer

June 21, 2010
I still haven't gotten used to John Waters style, but I am getting there. Definitely has a Grease vibe, but sillier. Much sillier. What social class was in Cry Baby was segregation was in this. Still, it was well acted on Miss Lake's part and Divine was fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing the remake, I heard it was good. Plus, the wigs, were fantastically ridiculous. Loved it.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 30, 2009
Classic John Waters. It?s very funny and probably did do a good job educating people about integration. Ricki Lake is really good and Divine is still, very sadly missed (the dirty bugger that he was)!
Fernando Rafael Q

Super Reviewer

June 28, 2007
Since i first saw the 2007 version, i'm gonna base my review on it. The original, John Waters-directed version is not a musical (i didn't know that), it's darker, dirtier, weird, not so happy, and it contains foul language, BUT it's funny and the dance sequences and art direction are great. Ricki Lake and Sonny Bono are awesome, while Ruth Brown, Debbie Harry, Leslie Ann Powers, Shawn Thompson and Joann Havrilla give notable performances. Divine is just creepy.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2008
ohn Waters reveals a somewhat more sentimental side with "Hairspray", a movie several people have told me they absolutely hated. I wondered what it was about Waters' style as a filmmaker that could provoke such anger? I think it's his affection for '60's movie-clichés transposed through askewed nostalgia and Waters' own gross-out sensibilities (his personal brand of humor, which can be quite wicked). I didn't much care for the film the first time I saw it, but I gave it a second chance and it grew on me. The reckless amateurishness is off-putting at first, but you have to meet "Hairspray" halfway. There is much to enjoy here, not the least of which is Divine as Ricki Lake's mom (and also as a bigoted network bigwig); wheeling and dealing after her daughter finds TV fame, Divine becomes a coiffed society queen, twisting away in front of the television and tossing off jaded quips like, "It's the times...they're a-changin'." The performances are all happily hammy, colorful and amusing, and the lightweight story comfortably shoehorns-in relevant political issues to counterbalance the slapstick. Ricki Lake is very appealing in her debut; also hilarious, Pia Zadora as a beatnik and Debbie Harry as the mother of Lake's main rival ("1-2-cha-cha-CHA, 1-2-cha-cha-CHA!"). It's not a seamless, polished picture, but it does have heart and charm and this sold me--but on the second time around.
Michael S

Super Reviewer

April 4, 2007
Another gem from John Waters.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2007
A very light and fun movie. An enjoyable John Waters collection of characters. Not intended to be realistic, but has some important messages about society not being accepting of those who are different. Hilarious outlook on the life of ladies who like to make their hair unique. There's nothing trashy or offensive in here, like many other of John Waters' movies.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2007
Not trashy enough for fans of Waters' early stuff, and not sophisticated enough for a more "adult" audience.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

March 5, 2007
Yep... makes you want to get jiggy with them. :)
Megan S

Super Reviewer

March 4, 2007
I finally got around to seeing this. It was pretty good. I feel like I would have liked it better if I hadn't seen the Broadway version first but it was still pretty cool. Edna Turnblad had a pretty horrible greasy mullet.
John B

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2012
Slightly better than the remake. Probably didn't deserve to be remade. Waters has made better since.
William G

Super Reviewer

January 11, 2007
Perfectly enjoyable segregation musical.
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2007
Another good film from the King of Kitsch.
Sylvester K

Super Reviewer

December 29, 2011
It's an unique Waters film, it has a different tone unlike the rest of his film. Hairspray is light-hearted and retro comedy, featuring the lovable Devine and Ricki Lake. It's a film that has subtle messages about racism and freedom. It's a fun piece of work from Waters
Marion R

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2007
It was a fun movie, and definitely better than the musical version.
Isaac
Isaac

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2008
Enjoyable and funny, but not nearly as good as the new one. Hardly any singing, less likeable characters, and not-that-great acting add to the disappointment.
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