Thursday, January 3, 2013

100 Movies that Make Me Love Film: 57. Hairspray

57. Hairspray

Before I knew who John Waters was I knew of the movie Hairspray. I had never seen it but I was aware of it’s existence. Strangely I always was aware of the movie Pink Flamingos. That was the film that got me into John Waters and I quickly started to see everything he had made previously.

John Waters is one of my all-time favorite writer/directors but when I saw his family friendly PG film Hairspray I was shocked at how incredible it truly was. 

With in the first few notes of Rachel Sweet’s “Hairspray” you’re already put into the nostalgic days of the 1960’s music. As the opening credits show various kids dancing you start to realize that unlike Waters’ earlier work this movie comes from a very real/very personal place.

Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad a plump but caring girl who ends up on the popular dance show “The Corny Collins Show”. She immediately because a fan favorite much to the annoyance of the privileged Amber Von Tussle. The film uses their battle of wits and growing racial tensions to actually tell a touching story of being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe in.

I don’t think anyone was more shocked that the film was given a PG rating than John Waters who previously had to battle for R ratings on his movies. Regardless the king of Shock created a heartwarming movie filled with great dance sequences. It was later turned into a Broadway musical and film adaptation neither of which holds a candle to the original film.

It also was the great Divine’s final film which is quite upsetting because on how fantastically she portrayed her double acting role as Tracey’s Mother as well as the Evil TV producer Arvin Hodgepile.

A film for the whole family (despite being intensely bizarre and weird at times).

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