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I wouldn’t usually consider myself a fan of musicals. Some I like, some I don’t, but there’s no special affection. Hairspray had me hooked from its first infectious beat. That great opening scene where Tracy walks to school, singing the praises of her city completely drew me in. From there it was a non-stop 2 hour love affair.

Hairspray is just infused with such exuberance and positive energy that it’s impossible to keep the smile off your face. It’s the epitome of a feel-good movie but it’s not schmaltzy or cheesy: it earns its goodwill. It has a simple but well-executed message of tolerance and following your dreams and that music and dancing is toe-tapping and dazzling.

The performances are pretty good and where lacking at least the actors really threw themselves into their roles. John Travolta picked up a Golden Globe Supporting Actor nod, but I didn’t think he was that strong. I did very much appreciate how much fun he had in his cross-dressing role- there was no holding back there. The Baltimore accent sort of faded in and out but I just about fell out of my chair laughing when his first line was, “Would you keep that racket down? I’m tryin to arn in here!” Nikki Blonsky also got the Globes love though again I only found her decent. I’m certainly hoping to see her in more films in the future though. Read the rest of this entry »

Seems like Adam and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to movie musicals. Well, except that I too am not an especially big fan of dancing. Hey, here’s a list of manliest movie performances ever. I’m about to go on a little aside about movie musicals, so feel free to skip below the jump for my thoughts on Hairspray, if that’s your bag. Maybe this is better off in its own post, and maybe I’ll do just that, after the Oscars are over. I was thinking about Adam’s last paragraph, and I can’t help but wonder if movie musicals are having some sort of resurgence. Here are three random bloggers who agree with me, therefore they must be very smart. And take a look at the Wikipedia list of musical films by year. I’m not arguing that Hollywood is churning out movie musicals by the bucketful. But since 2000 you have Moulin Rouge!, Chicago, Dreamgirls, Hairspray and Sweeney Todd all meriting Oscar’s attention. I’m not sure Rent or The Phantom of the Opera went anywhere, but I haven’t seen those, so I can’t comment. And I was a little down on The Producers (damn you, Will Ferrell), but you can’t have a resurgence without some misses, I’d argue. Hedwig and the Angry Inch was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. And then I suppose you could start counting (as Wikipedia does) movies like Ray or Walk the Line. Plus, the uber-smashes High School Musical and High School Musical 2. Again, I’m not saying we are in a new golden age of musicals, far from it. But it does seem to be that we’re seeing an uptick in the quality and quantity of them. Oh, and for 2008? Mamma Mia! (Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Lily from Veronica Mars? Hollywood, when will you learn that making things whose target audience is me just isn’t profitable <cough>Love Monkey<cough>? Trailer here.) Read the rest of this entry »

First off, let me preface this post by saying that I’m not a big fan of musicals. I’m usually fine for a little while, but after about 30 min the constant singing, dancing, and complete lack of plot movement really starts to irritate me. So, I’m going to do my best to objectively review this movie, but probably end up failing miserably.

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February 2020
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