By this time, you should already know about my guilty pleasure – the one other than LOST. I am obviously talking about musicals: nothing gets me going more than a wonderful musical, with great music, a wonderful setting and sublime dancing moves. We ask, and Hairspray delivers it with a motto: So delightfully wrong on so many delicious levels!
Hairspray (2007) takes us back to the 1960s, where petticoats and wet looks ruled the western part of the planet, and everything seemed bright and sunny – even despite the lack of colour TV. Yes, the US of A has it made: the Kennedys are dominating the world in their popularity, and everyone in the entire world wants to be as perfect as those North-American lucky bastards. The sixties are golden, the sixties are… perfect. But what do you in such a world when you’re different? Hairspray shows us the answer: just do whatever the hell you want to do.
I can in all honesty say that it has been a while since I had seen such a feel-good movie. Ratatouille faintly comes to my mind, but it was still a different kind of happy: Hairspray made the world a better place, a shinier place, a place where everyone could live in. It completely immersed me – not only through the wonderful costumes and dances (I love the fifties) – and left me wanting more.
Hairspray is a deviously cliche movie, using all the usual tactics: people singing wherever, whenever without anyone else finding it even the least bit strange; greatly exaggerated costume design (John Travolta performs as the obese mother, which is saying enough on its own) and unbelievably funny slash catchy tunes and lyrics. It does this which such great flair and in such a wonderful combination with the script, that it sometimes becomes a parody (I am thinking of the song the parents sing halfway through the movie) and sometimes an homage to soul (queen Latifah being the prime example).
If you are any bit into musicals, this is really worth 117 minutes of your time. You shall not be sorry.
Tracy: This is just so afro-tastic!