Hey there Baltimore
patjohnson76 - wrote on 12/12/07
Having seen this on stage, I was a little wary of how this musical's high energy and enthusiasm could transfer to the screen. I was very surprised to see it works well.
Hairspray is the rare type of musical that not only has a strong story but also provides great music. From the solid opener "Good Morning Baltimore" to the concluding, energetic finale of "You Can't Stop the Beat" there is rarely a dull moment. I will say, however, that the finale plays much better on stage - here I thought it was a little choppy, but if you haven't had the stage experience you most likely won't notice.
This being Hairspray, the tradition exists for the large Edna Turnblad to be played by a man. John Travolta offers his own spin on the role, actually downplaying Edna rather that portraying her as his predecessors have. Though he performs with a thick Baltimore accent, it works pretty well. The rest of the players are all well cast, except for Queen Latifah. It's not that she's bad, just miscast. Her role requires her to be someone wise and experienced in the unjust society. She's just too young for the part. Other than that, it's an enjoyable film and you might have some of the songs in your head for awhile after watching.