Friday, September 21, 2007


I know they're not for everyone but I've always loved musicals. Growing up my parents took me to a lot of them and I knew all the words to Les Miserables, West Side Story and Camelot before I undertsood what the shows were really about. Musicals are great not only because I am a sucker for people who can sing and dance but because the most serious of issues can be rapped up in a three minute medley.

That much aside I wasn't really sure what to think about the movie Hairspray. The ads looked kind of shite and I pretty much hate John Travolta with the heat of a thousands suns. And yet... it was a musical and we don't get all that many of them to see. Quite the conundrum eh?

Well not so much because I probably would have let this one slide if it hadn't been the movie of choice for a mother-daughter movie night last night. I went in with low expectations and... I sort of loved it. It was cheesy, corny, frequently cringeworthy but it had a sort of relentless charm and self-aware cheesiness that beat me down.
Unknown Nikki Blonsky was great as the 'pleasantly plump' star, Christopher Walken always does it for me and even Travolta had a certain sweetness but it was the parade of male hotties that pushed me over the edge. James Marsden (Cyclops from X-Men) has never really appealed to me but when he hams it up he's pretty funny and becomes increasingly hot over the two hours. The same is true of Zac Efron who is so clean-cut he could put you into a coma most of the time but works well in a sort of 1960s way. New (to me) hottie on the block Elijah Kelley is also really good, working a truly awesome wardrobe and a truly heinous hairdo. Hottness aside they all look like they're having fun, which makes all the difference.
Like most musicals it's probably not for everyone but for campy fun and something that will make you wish you looked less like a deranged robot on the dance floor this sort of thing is pretty freaking enjoyable.

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