Hairspray (1988) | John Waters

John Waters writes and directs this most accessible of his films, his only one to be rated PG, with HAIRSPRAY, the film that made Ricki Lake a prominent star to be.  Set in 1962, HAIRSPRAY explores race and class in a mostly divided Baltimore, where teens of different races weren’t allowed to dance on the same show at the same time. Tracy Turnblad doesn’t see why they can’t all be one happy group, vowing to turn the local variety show to reflect the diversity of the town itself.  Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, and Divine also appear.


One thought on “Hairspray (1988) | John Waters

  1. Hairspray is a delight. Walters moves on from his ubertrash flics and crashes the mainstream by being affectionate and embracing. He shows us that it is the outsiders that provide society with its context and much of its joy. The soundtrack is a cracker, but the film itself is well done and makes a virtue of its set piece nature. In some ways it is a companion piece to “Back to the future” but where that movie is a meditation on the personal lottery of life and destiny, Hairspray is a call to arms to those wanting a progressive, harmonious world to go out and promote it. Love this film.

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