News / 

Doug Wright & the Movies- "Hairspray"

Doug Wright & the Movies- "Hairspray"

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Doug Wright reporting

I have to admit that as I settled in with my vat of diet cola to view "Hairspray," I didn't have the highest of expectations. But as the story of ….well, to use a phrase from the film, a stout teenage girl, Tracy Turnblad- played by newcomer Nikki Blonsky-starts to unfold, my expectations took a definitive upward spike.

Tracy is positive, bubbly, irrepressible and loves to dance. Her burning desire is to be a regular on the Corny Collins Show, a local after school Baltimore TV show.

Corny, played by James Marsden, is not only incredibly cool, but quite progressive as well. Set in the early 60s, Corny is proud of, "Negro Day," where Motormouth Maybelle-played by Queen Latifah, hosts the show and a crew of young black kids take the stage.

Michelle Pfeiffer stars as the TV station manager, Velma Von Tussel who thwarts Corny's desire for even more diversity. Well, an open audition is announced to replace a dancer and, of course, Tracy is determined to show her stuff, but her mother, Edna-played marvelously by John Travolta-fears that her daughter, who just doesn't fit the thin, blond, white bread mold, will be hurt…but it's Christopher Walken, as dear old dad, who encourages her to go for the dream.

Of course, Von Tussel immediately dismisses Tracy, but at a school record hop, Corny can't help but notice her incredible dance floor moves. It seems that while in detention, our young heroine has picked up some hot and edgy moves from her new, black friends….including Elijah Kelley as the amazing, Seaweed Stubbs.

Well, she ends up on the show and the rating soar. "Hairspray," delightfully deals with many of the attitudes and social issues of the era while never getting heavy-handed.

The staging, the music and the cast, including a bevy of great supporting characters all add to the overall great feel of this film Nikki Blonsky is a delight and every time Travolta is on the screen I couldn't help but smile.

Walken is absolutely perfect and Pfeiffer, as not only station manager but a stage mother from hell, provides the perfect dose of villainy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film…."Hairspray" gets 3 ½ stars and it's rated PG

Most recent News stories


Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast