The latest version of “Hairspray” is a remake of the 1988 film that starred Riki Lake and it follows the successful Broadway show. And it’s the same story of a teenage girl named Tracy Turnblad who has a dream of dancing on a popular 1960’s TV show.
Tracy (played by newcomer Nicki Blonsky) is a little over-weight so the mean producer of the “Corny Collins Show” (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) and her bratty daughter (played by Brittany Snow) try to keep Tracy from making it onto the show.
But Tracy gets her shot, becomes a star, and uses her new status as a celebrity to make it so that black kids can dance on the show everyday.
There are a lot of other big stars in “Hairspray” including John Travolta, who plays Tracy’s mom. It’s very uncomfortable watching Travolta in a fat suit playing a woman but he does a good job.
The music is great, as are the dance numbers. And the mesage of the film – that all people should be treated the same no matter if they’re black or white, or fat or skinny, is an important one.
“Hairspray” is rated “PG” because of a little crude language. And the racial issue may be something that younger kids may not understand. But you parents can explain it on the way home from the theater.
On The Official Kid Critic Report Card, “Hairspray” gets a B. I haven’t seem the 1988 version yet, but I can’t imagine it’s better than this!
And remember – “You can’t stop the beat.”
Lights Camera Jackson (a.k.a. Jackson Murphy) began his career as a film critic/entertainment reporter in 2006 at the age of 7. Jackson has written nearly 1,000 reviews of new releases. All together he has seen more than 1,500 films. In 2010, Jackson became the youngest person to win a NY Emmy Award, for his on-air movie reviews on Time Warner TV station, Capital News 9.
LCJ appears every Friday morning on WGNA-FM . His movie reviews are also posted on his website, his YouTube channel and the popular website Cultjer.com. He is also a contributing writer for Jerry Beck’s AnimationScoop.com. Jackson hosts the weekly internet pop culture news show “LCJ LIVE” (every Sunday at Noon ET). And “The LCJ Q&A Podcast” features interviews with celebrities and filmmakers. Among those who have joined LCJ on the show are comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried, “Wallace & Gromit” creator Nick Park, Emmy-winning game show host Todd Newton and Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody.
Lights Camera Jackson has been co-starring in photographs with his favorite celebrities since he was 6 years old. “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest appeared in the first. Seacrest was a VIP guest at a local telethon. Jackson, a big fan of “Idol”, approached Seacrest during a break and asked for an autograph. The “Idol” star eagerly obliged. Jackson and Ryan then posed for this photo.
Since then Jackson’s collection of photos with stars from film, TV, stage and sports has grown to over 400. Every one represents a special moment in the life/career of Lights Camera Jackson and includes its own unique backstory.