A mute extraterrestrial resembling a black man (but with feet that have three toes) crash lands his spaceship near New York City. Not understanding where he is or what people are saying, he finds his way to Harlem’s 125th Street. Although derided as either crazy or homeless, others discover his worth when he can heal broken electronics and human injuries with a single touch. A concerned social worker helps him get a job as a repairman. Hobnobbing with patrons at a local bar, the Brother finds a dangerous world outside of junkies, thieves, and thugs. Bounty hunters from his homeworld are after him. After discovering a boy’s heroin overdose, he uncovers a Wall Street drug ring. Joe Morton stars in this John Sayles film.
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.