5.0 out of 5 stars Memories
Hi, when I first saw HAIRSPRAY I fell in love with the picture, the actors were just picked out and the parts just fit each and everyone of them. Like the first time I went to see GREASE at the movies I went to see that movie with about 16 different people every night and did the same with HAIRSPRAY it brought back memories with the music and in the 60's when I was a...
Published on Nov 21 2003 by Real Vaillancourt
3.0 out of 5 stars A True Picture of Baltimore
I grew up in Baltimore in the 60's and had appeared on occasion on the real dance show this movie was based on (The Buddy Dean Show). Also the real Buddy Dean makes a cameo appearence in the movie as a tv reporter at the goveror's mansion. You can still walk the streets of East Baltimore and see women like Divine still shopping in their scuffies, their hair in curlers,...
Published on Jan 10 2001 by Judith Sylvester-Boschert
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)Hi, when I first saw HAIRSPRAY I fell in love with the picture, the actors were just picked out and the parts just fit each and everyone of them. Like the first time I went to see GREASE at the movies I went to see that movie with about 16 different people every night and did the same with HAIRSPRAY it brought back memories with the music and in the 60's when I was a teenager I fell head over heals with the movie they don't make enough of these genre anymore wish they did. Any way loved it emensly and it will always hold a special place in my heart forever. I am now going to buy the DVD and play it over and over again and again. This is the movie that I fell in love with Ricki Lake and I just discovered Divine who was marvelous in both parts so if you want to go back in time just you sit back in your best chair and view this movie just like I did over and over again and again you get tired of it trust me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A campy, feel-good film carrying an important message,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)I think it's safe to say that Hairspray is a unique motion picture. The film, while providing nonstop fun and laughs throughout, also manages to not only confront but to roll right over prejudice in several of its nefarious guises. I was a teenager when this film came out, and sadly, it was the death of Divine (just before the movie was released) that made me aware of this film. I don't know if that publicity helped or hurt ticket sales - Divine, for those who have never heard of him, was famous for playing female roles, and Hairspray had begun to rejuvenate his whole career. As for the film, it's extremely campy in the best of ways, overflowing with great singing and dancing from the early 1960s, and it is the type of film that makes you feel good after you watch it.
Ricki Lake plays Tracy Turnblad, a big, bold, and beautiful teenager who dreams of dancing on the exceedingly popular Corny Collins dance show. Her mother, played by Divine, isn't too crazy about modern music and dancing - until Tracy auditions and gets a spot on the show. Strutting her stuff in front of the cameras, she quickly becomes Baltimore's newest sensation. This does not sit well with Amber von Tussle (Colleen Fitzpatrick), as Tracy steals her man and then threatens to win the coveted title of Miss Auto Show 1963. Tracy is overweight, but she likes herself just as she is and easily dismisses the fat jokes thrown her way early on. The big issue in this film, though, is segregation. Tracy and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Joann Havrilla) soon become friends with some of the black kids in town and begin working toward integrating the Corny Collins show. Collins is all for the idea himself, as currently the Negro show runs only once each month under the controls of sassy Motormouth Mabel (Ruth Brown). The station manager will not hear of integration, though, and Penny's mother is aghast to find out that her daughter is in love with an African-American. This is 1962, of course. The whole segregation issue becomes the basic foundation of the movie as it dances its way to the end, making Hairspray a wonderfully entertaining film with a serious message behind it.
The film is blessed with many interesting cast members. Divine plays not only Mrs. Turnblad but also the station manager, Jerry Stiller plays Mr. Turnblad, Sonny Bono and Debbie Harry (and Debbie Harry's increasingly interesting hair) come together to play Amber von Tussle's parents, and Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora show up as Beatniks in a strange little cameo appearance. Of course, Ricki Lake pretty much steals the show as the big girl with big dreams, although I found Joann Havrilla's performance as Penny Pingleton quite captivating in a weird sort of way.
It is very difficult to describe Hairspray; you pretty much have to watch it to get a true feel for its entertainment assets and social commentary underpinnings. It does have its silly moments, but this is not entertainment for the sake of entertainment, nor is this a film you will soon forget after watching it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really funny comedy bursting with talent. I loved it!,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)I saw this film when it first came out in 1988. I loved it then. I recently saw it on the small screen. I loved it even more. Maybe its because I've followed the career of its star, Ricki Lake, and have seen her transformed from a chubby teenager into a slim talk show host. Maybe its because I can appreciate the comic genius of director John Waters who is willing to push the envelope over the top on every scene. Maybe its because I really enjoyed watching the double role played by the transvestite called Divine. Maybe its because of the outrageous clothes worn by all the characters. Most of all though, I know its because this film made me laugh out loud.
Hairspray is set in the early sixties, when teen age dance programs were all the rage. And its about a fat girl who doesn't fit in, but yet is a terrific dancer. She becomes a teenage idol though and the whole city loves her. She's smart and sassy and also wants to force the dance show to racially integrate. And she manages to do this with just the right degree of gumption, comedy and romance. The casting includes Sonny Bono and Deborah Harry as the parents of a teenager who is Ricki's competition, Colleen Fitzpatrick. And the singer Ruth Brown not only has a role of the mother of a teenager who is trying to integrate the show, she sings too. Divine plays the role of Ricki's mother as well as the male owner of the TV show. And Jerry Stiller is cast as Ricki's father.
All in all, the film is bursting with talent. I sat there, relaxed, and laughed my head off. This is truly a funny comedy. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic and funny movie,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)The movie 'Hairspray' is a comedic view of life in 60's Baltimore. Ricki Lake is great as Tracy Turnblad and overall, it is a very funny movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars Forever Quotable!,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)Tracy Turnblad is described by her contempories as "a fat trash can," "teenage Jezebel hair hopper," "a whore, (who *I heard* made out in a car - naked!)," "adopted," "white trash or maybe high yellow" or even "mulatto!"... with "roaches in her hair!".... But they're all just hatin', because Tracy is also "the best white dancer in Baltimore" and "a modern teen" that believes in integration! Tracy competes for the dancing queen crown - and also for the leading man - against none other than Amber von Tussle, a "stuck up spastic" who is "*such* a queer," that she makes Tracy's mom ashamed to be white! There's a lot of (funny) trash talkin' goin' on, because a lot is on the line....
The competition between Tracy and Amber, and by extension integrationists and segregationists, will make you feel good, tap your toes, laugh out loud a lot, and cheer. Hairspray's "bad taste" moments are funny as heck, and piece together for a movie that epitomizes good taste -- kind, empathetic, and with a wonderful heart! The music and dancing are just *amazing*! And the fashions and bright colored sets are life-affirming perfect! (Is it just me, or did these early 60's fashions *strongly* influence the early 80's styles?.... Debbie Harry, Ric Ocasek, and Pia Zadora fit in perfect). In the excellent dvd commentary, director John Waters says the sets and styles are realistic for the times. What a bright, bold, fun, cool (when "cool" was cool), forward-looking time! Tracy's mom has a picture of Jackie Kennedy framed on the wall :-). Mom says, "It's the times. They are a-changin'. There's something blowing in the wind. Fetch me my diet pills, would you hun?"
If Hairspray ended with "Where are they now?", Tracy might be a Senator from Maryland, or the Governor, ... or more!! 5 stars as I stand in my chair applauding. Hairspray's bright fun is worth watching many times.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good,
By A Customer
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)The movie Hairspray is Very good. I watched it when I was about 10 and I loved it. My dad keeped telling me to move so he could watch tv and I didn't so I got grounded and after that I have looked for it but I haven't been able to find it until about two months ago now I have it and watch it everyday. I also went to see it live. It was great.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey-diddly BOP! (Continental, Continental...),
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)John Waters purists may argue that HAIRSPRAY, his great crossover hit, is nowhere near as lowdown dirty and outrageously sidesplitting as his earlier guerilla films, but there's no denying that this is his smoothest piece of work, with by far the best performances. Everyone by this point knows that the film concerns the attempts of Tracy Turnblad, "an upper lower-class" overweight white girl from inner-city 1962 Baltimore, to get onto a popular local television dance show and then to integrate it successfully. The entire cast (even the supporting throwaway parts: catch the facial expressions of Amber's friends when she's dissing Tracy in class) is just about perfect, and is led by three magnificent teenage performances: Ricki Lake as the supremely confident Tracy; Divine, as her charmingly pushing mother; and the scene-stealer Colleen Fitzpatrick as Tracy's rival, the abominable blonde Amber. One thing that really helps the film is the superb soundtrack from the early 60s, which keeps things hopping, and the marvelous dancing (particularly on the part of Lake and Fitzpatrick) to accompany it.
The DVD version is really a treat, offering one of the finest and funniest director's commentators ever from John Waters: it's amazing to hear how much background was behind the film, which chronicles his real-life obsession with a similar Baltimore early 60's dance show. There are also some comments from Lake, who unsurprisingly reveals what a diva she really is (she's STILL upset with Waters for making her dye her hair for the film!). But the Waters's comments are laugh-out-loud funny, and there are far more of them than Lake's, which is a blessing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Classic!!!,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)"Hairspray" is a hilarious musical by one of the funniest directors of our time, John Waters! "Hairspray" revolves around the lives of Baltimore teenagers in the 1960s and how they deal with relationships, race relations, status, and the Corny Collins Show! The Corny Collins Show is a ficticious American Bandstand. All of the cool kids are dancers on the show. Ricki Lake's character, Tracy, has big dreams about being on the show. After an audition, she is given a coveted spot as one of the dancers. This begins a rivalry between her and a snobby young lady (played by Vitamin C).
Ricki Lake and Divine give excellent performances as mother and daughter. There are also great performances by Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, and Jerry Stiller. The music and dance sequences will definitely have you tapping your feet. Even through all of the fun and hilarity, there is also an important message you can learn from.
I would highly recommend this film to people who would like to see a good, well-acted, and very funny film!!! You won't be disappointed!
5.0 out of 5 stars HAIRSPRAY IS THE BOMB YO!,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)John Waters is a brilliant director, in Hairspray we see the final apperance of a much beloved Cult Icon. Divine was just about to hit mainstream, just when Hairspray hit the Top 5 Box Office. Divine passed away, none the less, Divine gave one last wonderful gem in Hairspray.
Deboarh Harry, yet another "POP CULTURE ICON" gives a great performance, as does Pia Zadora, Ric Ocasek and Mink Stole. The movie is set in Baltimore, where TV Dance Shows and Theme Parks are segregated along Racial lines. Hairspray is light hearted and just jam packed with great music. This is also Ricki Lake's
Buy, Buy, Buy........This movie is great for all ages, it's the other "Grease" that never caught on fire.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hairspray is a hair-hoppin good time!,
This review is from: Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)The first time I saw "Hairspray" I was five years old and didn't like it. But I saw it again and again and now that I am almost 19, it is one of my absolute favorite movies. It combines serious drama with comedy. It even has a little domestic drama in it-but in a funny way. Ricki Lake is Tracy Turnbald, an overweight teenager who dreams of being on the "Corny Collins Show." Her arch rival, Amber (played by teen pop sensation Vitamin C, prior to her orange and yellow hair) will stop at nothing to destroy Tracy (Lake). Tracy is on top! She makes it on her dream show, gets her dream guy and has a fab wardrobe. The only thing that is in her way of a good life is the struggle of integration. Tracy's best friend Penny (Leslie Ann Powers) falls in love with an African American boy, Seaweed (Clayton Prince), and stuggles to keep him because her family is so racist. Will this all end out good? Well, you're just going to have to see it! I've never seen the musical, but I heard it is extremely simillar to the movie, so go see that too!!!!
Segregation never! Integration now!"
I'm big, blonde, and beautiful!"
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Hairspray (Widescreen) [Import] by John Waters (DVD - 2002)