Hairspray

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 217 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 217

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 23, 2011
    4
    One thing for sure, this movie is definitely not my type. But in some way, it was entertaining at some parts which is why it only JUST gets a 4.
  2. MartinD
    Jul 20, 2007
    5
    I was very disappointed in this movie. All the dance numbers came across as flat and cried to be seen on stage. All the 'kids' were great but of the adults only Latifah and Janney really shined. Travolta never became Edna until the last number and "Timeless" came across as wasted time. Walken was flat and I waited 3-4 years to see Pfiffer back on screen only to feel she was I was very disappointed in this movie. All the dance numbers came across as flat and cried to be seen on stage. All the 'kids' were great but of the adults only Latifah and Janney really shined. Travolta never became Edna until the last number and "Timeless" came across as wasted time. Walken was flat and I waited 3-4 years to see Pfiffer back on screen only to feel she was miscast (and the makeup job horrible!) IF I will buy the DVD--wish would really surprise me--it would be only for 3 or 4 of the musical numbers. Expand
  3. SaraE
    Jul 20, 2007
    5
    Glorified Disney movie. Travolta completely misses the point of a man playing Edna, oh why didn't they use Harvey Feinstein, who was born to play this role? Also, most of the young actors are just not up to the task.
  4. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    Filled with wonderful musical renditions of the now-classic Broadway musical, Hairspray is a delightful and charming adaptation of the stage version and it's mediocre predecessor film.
  5. JoelH.
    Sep 9, 2007
    5
    Had high expectations, and I know it's supposed to have a bit of a camp feel to it, but John Travolta just kind of killed the whole movie, and none of the musical numbers were very memorable in my opinion. I did like the nod to Waters, Ricki Lake and Jerry Stiller, though.
  6. Edgar
    Jul 26, 2007
    4
    Did anyone else find this film a little racist? The squares are demonized in such a way as to suggest a more or less bankrupt culture, and then it's Funk to the rescue. There seems to be no end, in this film, to the pontificating, bible thumping verdict that all white people need to do is to adopt African American culture wholesale. The treatment of the white people in this film is Did anyone else find this film a little racist? The squares are demonized in such a way as to suggest a more or less bankrupt culture, and then it's Funk to the rescue. There seems to be no end, in this film, to the pontificating, bible thumping verdict that all white people need to do is to adopt African American culture wholesale. The treatment of the white people in this film is no more sophisticated than the way white people treated African Americans in, let's say, the 50s. The pendulum has now swung quite a ways since then, yes? Should we not be concerned about the obvious racism in this so-called fluff film? Is it not disturbing that no one seems to care that we so easily swallow this mess of negative stereotypes? I'm disturbed when, in older films, I see African Americans being marginalized. I'm just as disturbed by this very commercial entertainment and by the lack of responsibility required from the filmmakers to treat each character as a human being. There's much to love in most cultures today. I just don't understand why we feel the need to sanctify one over the other. It's worrisome, to me. Expand
  7. JasonK
    Jul 20, 2007
    4
    You know, I saw it at a Sneak Preview, and had a really lingering problem with the movie, and to see it echoed in a few reviews makes me realize that I'm probably right. The truth is, whatever is happening in front of the camera in this film is great - the acting, the dancing, the music, the story, everything. But Shankman just didn't know where to put the camera. He had You know, I saw it at a Sneak Preview, and had a really lingering problem with the movie, and to see it echoed in a few reviews makes me realize that I'm probably right. The truth is, whatever is happening in front of the camera in this film is great - the acting, the dancing, the music, the story, everything. But Shankman just didn't know where to put the camera. He had absolutely no clue how to shoot the scenes. How many times did the shot make no sense, have no momentum, no purpose. It was just so poorly directed on a camera level. Made me upset, because if someone else had just directed the camerawork, this thing could have flown so high, no one would have brought it down. Expand
  8. BillC.
    Jul 23, 2007
    4
    After all the hype and good reviews I was disappointed. The original was funnier and packed more of an edge to it's content. The music was fair and it had a few laughs. I have to admit, most in the theater applauded at the end and seemed to find it more enjoyable then did I.
  9. KenK
    Jul 23, 2007
    6
    The cascading harmonies collapse in the 50's style numbers. Tracies further push into the sixties is unexplained. Travolta singularly reaches out to create a look and feel for the show, but no one followed him. The result, the characters fail to gel. Walken, a joke store owner? Can't buy it. Miss Baltimore Crabs number was forgettable. You're Timeless to Me wasn't The cascading harmonies collapse in the 50's style numbers. Tracies further push into the sixties is unexplained. Travolta singularly reaches out to create a look and feel for the show, but no one followed him. The result, the characters fail to gel. Walken, a joke store owner? Can't buy it. Miss Baltimore Crabs number was forgettable. You're Timeless to Me wasn't convincing. On stage, the entire audience said "Awwww" when it was finished. The film didn't need the overplay on integration as if it needed to be taught to young viewers. The finale was edited to pieces to the point where I spent half of it looking for the lead characters. The whole finale storyboard set-up crumbles. How sad that Shankman made us want to believe that Mr. Turnblat and Link were turned on by big rumps, but they're not! Edna is loved for her inner beauty and Link is hot for Tracy because her talent transcended her size, not because either has a fetish. The movie didn't grab me as visually as the musical did. Did we have to have fireworks in Baltimore for the sake of adding color? Desperate films employ desperate measures. I will watch this movie two more times because I am a fan of the original and the musical, but all in all, it comes in a disappointing third. Expand
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    If you look fast, you'll see Waters himself in a cameo (as a flasher; what else?), proof the new film is in touch with its dyed roots.
  2. 100
    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."
  3. 75
    Delivers an even bigger sugar rush than the hit Broadway musical.