A ‘pleasantly plump’ teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.
“Hairspray” is a 1988 musical comedy film directed by John Waters. Set in Baltimore during the 1960s, the movie tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a young girl with big dreams of dancing on a local television show. Tracy faces various challenges, including societal prejudices and discrimination, as she fights for integration and equality.
The film has become a cult classic and is known for its energetic musical numbers, colorful costumes, and offbeat humor. It features a talented cast, including Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, Divine as her mother Edna, and Debbie Harry as the villainous Velma Von Tussle. The performances are generally enjoyable, with the actors embracing the exaggerated and sometimes over-the-top nature of their characters.
One of the strengths of “Hairspray” is its ability to tackle serious social issues while maintaining a lighthearted and entertaining tone. The film addresses themes of racial segregation and body image in a way that is both poignant and humorous. By blending comedy and musical numbers with important social commentary, “Hairspray” manages to convey its message effectively.
The movie also benefits from John Waters’ distinctive and unique style. His unconventional approach to filmmaking, which often celebrates the eccentricities and quirks of his characters, shines through in “Hairspray.” The film’s production design and costumes capture the vibrant atmosphere of the 1960s, adding to its charm.
While some viewers may find the film’s humor and campy style to be an acquired taste, “Hairspray” has garnered a dedicated fan base over the years. It has been praised for its catchy musical numbers, memorable characters, and its ability to entertain while addressing important social issues.
Overall, “Hairspray” is a fun and quirky musical comedy that offers an engaging story and a unique blend of humor and social commentary. It may not appeal to everyone’s tastes, but for those who appreciate its distinct style, it remains an enjoyable and influential film.