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Hairspray

Year: 2007
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Adam Shankman
Writer: John Waters
Cast: John Travolta, Nikki Blonsky, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, james Marsden, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes, Allison Janney, Jerry Stiller
After the junkyard dog that was Rent, they're going to be lining up now to greenlight tosh like this. As if the copious gag-inducing musical numbers aren't enough, there's John Travolta in a fat suit. Am I the only one who thinks he's one of the worst A list actors when it comes to picking good movies?

Okay, I admit I hate musicals. And this one's all about the music, so that's enough for me to want to avoid it like the plague (and I saw it under duress). But Hollywood stars (and audiences) flock to them, so who am I to judge the story about the vibrant, innocent beginning to the 1960s (albeit with an ironically toothless, family-friendly civil rights subplot).

A young girl (newcomer Blonsky, who does have an infectious energy but can thank John Waters for the original stage show because there's no way a teenage girl of that stature would get the main part in a Hollywood movie) watches an afternoon dancing show religiously, dreaming of being on it.

When she gets her wish, she starts to affect everyone around her with her zeal including the community blacks who put up with segregation by dancing up a storm and her frumpy, insecure mother (Travolta). The rest of it (Pfeiffer, Walken) is a plain antagonist story that thankfully distracts from the endless breaking into song.

I'm forever reminded of Mad magazine's parody of the 1981 version of Annie, with Annie singing 'tomorrow' at the top of her lungs, breaking all the windows around the White House and sending the staff running with their hands over their ears.

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