Black Lives Matter is trending and it made me want to re-watch the movie version of ‘Hairspray,’ the 2007 film. I honestly have not seen the film since I saw it at the theater then. And frankly, I liked it but did not love the movie. Of course, I have seen other iterations of the material since, and most recently the live version, and the material has grown on me a lot. If I thought the score then was serviceable, I downright love it now, and some of the songs are real earworms. I can’t stop singing ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’ for some reason, and now giggle whenever I hear ‘Without You.’
And this time around, I really appreciated John Travolta’s performance as Edna. It’s muted compared to Divine and Harvey Feirstein’s, and it’s a more elegant and as effective take on the character. And we can see Travolta hasn’t lost his ‘Saturday NighT Fever’ moods. And Zac Efron does ever look so young here, and is perfectly cast as Linc the dreamy teenager Elvis wannabee. The musical numbers = especially the finale – suffers from a lack of energy, but maybe I am comparing it too much from the Broadway production.
But all in all, the message resonates. In these times, a little more nudge towards acceptance and tolerance is always a good reminder.