Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a Chicago teenager who works her tail off for a spot as a dance on her favorite dance show on television, but spats with her dance partner and a potentially rigged contest makes for a great challenge to success, not to mention her father will not approve if he finds out about her pursuit. Helen Hunt, Shannon Doherty, Jonathan Silverman, and Lee Montgomery get supporting roles in this film that takes its title from the Cyndi Lauper song.
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.