Hairspray

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 219

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User Reviews

  1. JimS
    Jul 20, 2007
    0
    The original is better.
  2. keith
    Jul 20, 2007
    3
    John Travolta and Christopher Walkin were totallly mis-cast.
  3. EoinD.
    Aug 1, 2007
    1
    If you are a guy you will hate it. I stood outside the movie theatre waiting for my female companion and the contrast between the experience of man and woman was striking. The females seemed to love it due to its grease-esque overtones, ie constant breaking into song for something as trivial as opening a carton of milk or doing the ironing. It is not my kind of film, but the females out If you are a guy you will hate it. I stood outside the movie theatre waiting for my female companion and the contrast between the experience of man and woman was striking. The females seemed to love it due to its grease-esque overtones, ie constant breaking into song for something as trivial as opening a carton of milk or doing the ironing. It is not my kind of film, but the females out there will enjoy it. MEN MAY NOT........HENCE My 1/10 rating. Expand
  4. TylerG.
    Aug 8, 2007
    0
    My girlfriend wanted me to go see it, so i did for one reason, because John Travolta is in my favorite movie of all time (Pulp Fiction), but seeing him play an overweight woman made me leave the theater and my girlfriend before it was over, that really genuinely sucked.
  5. [Anonymous]
    Jan 17, 2008
    1
    A terrible, overlong, bland, stupid, unoriginal, overblown, hammed-up waste of space, for reasons that are too glaring and all-consuming to even begin discussing here.
  6. LennyC.
    Jan 23, 2008
    3
    If you have never seen a train wreck, watch this movie, it is an hour and a half boring music video with no let up, i felt like sceeming,, "STOP THE MUSIC"
  7. MattL.
    Jan 4, 2008
    3
    Good performances from Nikki Blonsky and James Marsden, otherwise this is a cringeworthy excuse for entertainment. The songs and general over-exaggerated performances made me wanna throw up, and the plot was poor and implausible.
  8. Mike
    Feb 5, 2008
    1
    Very colorful, likable for the first 15 mins, and then it just became annoying! Travolts sucks a woman, he didn't look like one, didn't move like one, or speak like one. Also this is a "MUSICAL" so why are actors singing when they don't have the talent too sing!
  9. GrantW.
    Nov 3, 2007
    3
    Terrible acting, terrible music, Queen Latifah was terrible Michelle Pfeiffer was worse, and Christopher Walken needs to learn to decline roles.
  10. AdamL
    Jul 27, 2007
    0
    This movie has to be the most stupid and pointless movie ever made. Teletubies is better than this. I walked out of the theater in the middle of the movie and demanded my money back. I recommend that no one should see this movie.
  11. FXT
    Sep 23, 2007
    2
    Boring even if the story is good.
  12. HarrisK.
    Aug 1, 2008
    2
    Puh-lease. I can't believe a movie with a few catchy songs can automatically get starred reviews! This movies story is extremely cliche and very cheesy. Even all the songs sound the same.
  13. JK.
    Nov 21, 2007
    3
    Boring, Cheesy, Goofy, Pretentious...... Like a loud and stupid version of American History X for kids.
  14. olegM.
    Jul 23, 2007
    2
    Look it: I'm not a film critic but I've watched a lot of movies in my life, and lemme tell you: this movie is not worth seeing. Baloney is the word people invented for movies like this. Best, Ollie.
  15. JimY.
    Aug 16, 2007
    1
    This movie will not appeal to any man who does not have a strong desire to live in San Francisco. or key west. It is about the most mind numbing thing I have watched this side of rush Limbaugh. There will always be people who like any crap served to them because they think they are sophisticated. but this move it not. I think Travolta days are better spent flying instead of acting if this This movie will not appeal to any man who does not have a strong desire to live in San Francisco. or key west. It is about the most mind numbing thing I have watched this side of rush Limbaugh. There will always be people who like any crap served to them because they think they are sophisticated. but this move it not. I think Travolta days are better spent flying instead of acting if this is the best he can do. I strongly sug. you do not spend your money on this film, I down loaded it from the net and even though I did not pay for it, I felt cheated out of my time and want it back. Expand
  16. Apr 19, 2013
    3
    It fails on almost every level to be the amazing-ness of the 1988 original. Also, John Travolta acting as some bubblegum version of Divine is tacky and downright cinema blasphemy.
  17. Mar 29, 2016
    3
    It's time to get your singing lungs on as 'Hairspray' is supposed to be infectious, and jazzy. It's supposed to put a smile on your face, and leave you brimming with joy, and caring for the characters as they sing their way to stop racism, and other prejudice.

    Not me, unfortunately. 'Hairspray' is an overstuffed, thinly developed, almost confusing product... I am intended to care for
    It's time to get your singing lungs on as 'Hairspray' is supposed to be infectious, and jazzy. It's supposed to put a smile on your face, and leave you brimming with joy, and caring for the characters as they sing their way to stop racism, and other prejudice.

    Not me, unfortunately. 'Hairspray' is an overstuffed, thinly developed, almost confusing product... I am intended to care for the characters that appear on screen, but I just don't. I see no reason whatsoever to root for the lead character that is Tracy (a very charming Nikki Blonsky), other than the fact that I admire her hate for racism, and wanting black people to get equal rights...but the rest of her character I just couldn't care for.

    She seems to have the hots for a young dancer boy named Link (Zac Efron, energetic as always), but why is she so madly in love with him? Is it his hair? His eyes? His dancing skills??? He is nothing more than a blank, thin sheet of paper. That blank sheet of paper must be full of his character development, which there is none of in case you didn't understand where I was getting at.

    James Marsden plays Corny Collins, the host of a very popular TV all-dance and all-singing show "The Corny Collins Show", where they are looking for young talent to sing and dance for the show's live broadcasting. Working on that show is the scheming Velma (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is more or less no different to any other blonde, female villain you've seen in the past. She has an evil laugh, her blonde hair is full of volume, she wears eye shadow and blood-red lipstick, and high heels that click so hard against the ground she walks on. Why should I find her extra intimidating?

    This is not a discredit to Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as she does do an excellent job as always, but here her character just seems so...boring.

    John Travolta plays Tracy's mother, Edna, dressed in drag, I can see why this may be, since the musical was originally written by John Waters, known for his gross-out content and working closely with a famous transvestite named "Divine". However, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be ironic, but Travolta's voice is too deep for a woman, I am not sure if it is supposed to be a joke, or if we are supposed to believe that he is in fact playing a woman with some manly features.

    I don't know, and frankly...I just don't care after a while.

    The movie is filled with musical numbers and inspired choreography, and also moves at a fast pace, but what is the story's focus? Why does it seem like there are so many unnecessary sub-plots that involve the romance between Tracy's friend Penny (Amanda Bynes) with a black teen Seaweed (Elijah Kelly)? Or take Tracy's father Wilbur (Christopher Walken) trying to win back the heart of Edna. Why were they there? And why did they need to take up so much of the movie's time? If you took them out of the movie, it wouldn't make that much of a difference, other than the run-time being a little shorter.

    All in all, 'Hairspray' is a failed opportunity, with good-meaning. It obviously tries to fit in a social commentary about racism and other forms of discrimination, but fails to do it with characters that I just couldn't see myself rooting for. They all seem to be cardboard stereotypes of their own, if they wanted equality so bad, why do they act like the way that prejudice people see them? The music is good enough to keep anyone distracted, but I just wanted the end-credits to roll as soon as possible.
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Awards & Rankings

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.