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Hairspray

By Tom Keogh

John Waters made his bid for PG respectability with this enjoyably trashy comedy about the racial integration of a teen dance show on Baltimore television in the early '60s. Waters, as always, makes a virtue of junk culture and the powerful emotional forces it can represent as kids vie to get on the show. Meanwhile, a parade of former stars (Pia Zadora, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono) and pseudostars (Divine, Ricki Lake) cross the screen, playing freakish characters absorbed by thoughts of fame. (Waters himself turns up as a weirdo psychiatrist.) This transitional film for Waters is rough going at times and not as interesting or funny as his later features Cry-Baby and Serial Mom, but it's worth a look.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John Waters

Stars: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine

Released: February 26, 1988

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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