Release Date: July 20, 2007

Movie of the Day for Saturday, May 26, 2007
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Finally, John Travolta has accepted who he is.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
5/34 Dan Krovich Lots of fun, lots of energy. Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer steal the show.
27/50 Michael Bentley Colorful, kitschy musical is a big step up from hokey teen alternatives like High School Musical.
60/214 Max Braden I suppose this is a solid movie version of the stage musical, there just wasn't much to appeal to a non-fan. (though Pfeiffer looks great)

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The evolution of the production of the New Line Cinema film Hairspray is strange and complex. The seeds were planted almost 20 years ago as John Waters directed the quirky cult film by the same name. That film established Ricki Lake as a new star and also featured noteworthy performances from people like Sonny Bobo, Deborah Harry, Divine, Jerry Stiller, and BOP favorite Josh Charles, who was making his big screen debut. It was a colorful, musical affair that is genuinely a great deal of fun to watch.

In 2002, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman adapted the Waters film for the Broadway stage. It received rave reviews, eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, and is still running on Broadway today. With a resurgence in popularity of the movie musical, Hairspray became a target as a likely candidate for success.

New Line has brought Adam Shankman (Bringing Down the House) into the fray to adapt a script by Leslie Dixon (Freaky Friday). Rather than being a remake of the John Waters movie, the 2007 version of Hairspray is considered to be an adaptation of the movie musical (which itself is an adaptation of Waters' film).

Hairspray is set in 1960s Baltimore, where a plump but sweet young lady named Tracy Turnblad attempts to break free of the boundaries and restrictions set upon her by her mother, Edna. Tracy and her best friend Penny Pingleton are obsessed with a popular local television program called The Corny Collins Show. Tracy and Penny audition for the show, and our heroine is pleasantly surprised when she is chosen as a dancer. She proves to be quite popular, which doesn't sit well at all with rival Amber Von Tussle. Amber's ire is further raised when Tracy wins the heart of Link Larkin, Amber's ex. Bent on revenge, Amber schemes with her mother, TV station owner Velma Von Tussle, to get Tracy tossed off Corny Collins and out of the limelight altogether.

Newcomer Nikki Blonsky will have the role of Tracy Turnblad, and she is surrounded by an absolutely stellar cast. John Travolta takes the Divine role as he cross-dresses to play her mother, Edna. Christopher Walken is her father. Other notable cast members include Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brittany Snow, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron (from the enormously popular High School Musical), Allison Janney, James Marsden and Jerry Stiller, the only returning performer from the first film (though in a different role).

Despite its quirky sensibilities, Hairspray is a good-hearted film with a wonderful message at its center. It has an excellent chance at surprising people and becoming a huge summer hit. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Hairspray
Main Cast Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer
Supporting Cast Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah
Director Adam Shankman
Screenwriter Leslie Dixon
Distributor New Line Cinema
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG
Screen Count 3,121
Awards Awards page for Hairspray
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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