It's hard to keep a smile off your face and your toes from tapping during this unpretentious and spirited adaptation of the stage musical by director/choreographer Adam Shankman.
Against all expectations, Hairspray turns out to be an explosion of industrial-strength good cheer, delivered by very smart show-biz pros with wit, passion, and a soupcon of dementia. Resistance is futile.
Marc Shaiman's peppy music conspires with Shankman's energized, retro-musical choreography to make for a giant cinematic grin -- a dimpled dental testament of faith in the powers of nice over nasty, tolerance over bigotry and aerosol over the ozone.
Adam Shankman's movie of the Broadway Hairspray gets better as it lumbers along, but there's something garish about its hustle -- it's like an elephant trumpeting in your face.
As mile-high-wig musicals go, the film version of Hairspray is less polished but more fun than Dreamgirls. Both are drag revues at heart, one funny, the other serious. I prefer the funny one.
With its wisecracking screenplay, period-perfect pop score, and Shankman's splashy choreography, this may be the funniest, dancingest screen musical since Singin' in the Rain.
This movie musical about the plus-sized white girl who shakes her way onto a segregated teen dance show and brings black high-schoolers with her is a laughing gas.
Hairspray is a wondrously entertaining ball of spunky musical numbers, talent set free and fun, fun, fun, with just enough of a message to make it sizzle all the more. Don't miss it.