Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



Oscar Predictions

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Hairspray (2007)

Film #160


Pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.

Year 1, Day 161

BEFORE: After seeing Christopher Walken in yesterday’s Wedding Crashers I decided to use that as inspiration for today’s film, Hairspray. The film is actually an adaptation of the 2002 Broadway Musical which itself was based off of the original 1988 film Hairspray directed by John Waters.

AFTER: I have very strong opinions on musicals and don’t shy away from voicing them in my reviews. Hairspray joins the ever growing list of musicals that I do not enjoy.

I don’t hate all musicals. In fact, Pitch Perfect got a 5 out of 5 after I saw it. But Hairspray just doesn’t deliver in the entertaining music category. Some of the songs were pretty good and catchy, but a lot of them sounded the same and became too repetitive. Something to keep in mind is that this view isn’t seen by many. The film was well received by critics and many people enjoy the music. It’s just not for me and given the music is a big part of the film, it’s just not something for me.

Credit must be given where credit is due though and the ending of the film was very good. The music, the story, the acting were all phenomenal and made me wish the rest of the movie was just like that. The ending had the elements of a musical I enjoy: good music that isn’t the exposition and sung in a way that makes sense (as opposed to the stupid bursts of song in the middle of the street with all the strangers joining in as if it were normal). Even the story had some good and interesting twists that brought my attention back into the film and the characters instead of wondering when the film would end.

The good news about Hairspray is that it has a great ending and a few decent songs (maybe more depending on your own personal tastes). The bad news is everything leading up to the ending is just not entertaining. I feel it gets too bogged down in the dancing and spectacle of song but that may just be me talking. For most musicals I would say using your own judgement based on your tastes would be best. But if you have similar tastes as me, I’d recommend watching something else but consider Hairspray for an unusual event. Because come on, who doesn’t ant to see John Travolta playing a woman and Christopher Walken as her husband?

RATING: 2 out of 5