Monday, September 17, 2007

Hairspray (Adam Shankman, 2007)

***½
USA

What makes Adam Shankman's screen-to-stage-to-screen-musical transfer more likable than most others is that it embraces the corn with an unfashionably open spirit and that it aspires to the bounce and sparkle of the musicals from Hollywood's golden age. John Travolta has never been more charming and human-like than he is as Edna Turnblad, James Marsden nails Corny Collins with terrific (and unexpected) showmanship and Amanda Bynes, over-tanned though she is, isn't remotely grating (while, as Tracy Turnblad, much-hyped debutante Nikky Blonsky often is). It's a shame then that Michelle Pfeiffer is forced to scowl and gyrate her way around an immobile forehead and that Christopher Walken isn't quite accepted for the gift that he is to any musical.

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