[Screen It]

 

"HAIRSPRAY"
(2007) (Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Extreme Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Moderate Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Mild Heavy Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Musical Comedy: A white teen tries to get on a 1960s TV dance show only to find herself involved in efforts to integrate it.
PLOT:
For plump teenager Tracy Turnblad (NIKKI BLONSKY), there's nothing better than the Corny Collins Show, a TV dance program hosted by Corny Collins (JAMES MARSDEN) and featuring a number of ultra-cool dancers, including the dreamy Link Larkin (ZAC EFRON). Every day, she and friend Penny Pingleton (AMANDA BYNES) race home from school to watch and dance along with the show, amusing Tracy's homebound laundress mom Edna (JOHN TRAVOLTA), but that doesn't sit well with Penny's ultra-conservative mother, Prudy (ALLISON JANNEY).

Tracy dreams of being on the show, but Edna, who's also quite big, tries to discourage her, worried about how the world will treat her overweight daughter. Tracy's novelty shop owner dad, Wilbur (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN), on the other hand, encourage her to follow her heart and dreams.

Accordingly, when one of the show's dancers has to leave for nine months, Tracy shows up for the replacement auditions. She's immediately rebuked, however, by station manager Velma Von Tussle (MICHELLE PFEIFFER) whose daughter, Amber (BRITTANY SNOW), is on the show and is hoping to follow in her mom's footsteps of being crowned Miss Baltimore Crabs. Both look down on Tracy, not only for being overweight, but also because she thinks the show should be integrated.

That's not only because she enjoys the show's "Negro Day" that's hosted just once a month by record store owner Motormouth Maybelle (QUEEN LATIFAH), but also due to meeting her kids, teenager Seaweed (ELIJAH KELLEY) and his younger sister, Little Inez (TAYLOR PARKS), and being impressed by their dance moves.

It's the latter that Tracy uses to land a spot on the show, a point that doesn't sit well with either of the Von Tussles. From that point on, they do everything in their power to undermine Tracy, all as she tries to integrate the show while also longing for Link.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet a number will, especially if they're into musicals or are fans of anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NIKKI BLONSKY plays a lively and fun-loving teen who loves the TV dance show and can't wait to be on it, not only because she loves to dance, but also due to being smitten with Link. Overcoming the social stigma of her size and stature, she works to get the show integrated, all while dealing with the backlash of that as well as Velma and Amber's efforts to undermine her.
  • JOHN TRAVOLTA plays her even more plump mom, a laundress who hasn't left the house for years due to fear of being ridiculed, something she worries will happen to Tracy should she get on the show as well as regarding her desire to integrate the show and join a civil rights march for it.
  • MICHELLE PFEIFFER plays the station manager who oversees the TV show and will do anything to make sure her daughter is its biggest star, as well as the next winner of the Miss Baltimore Crabs pageant. She instantly dislikes Tracy, both for being plump as well as standing for integration. She does everything in her power, including trying to come on to Wilbur, to undermine the teen and her dreams.
  • CHRISTOPHER WALKEN plays Tracy's dad who runs a novelty store and encourages his daughter to follow her heart and pursue her dreams.
  • AMANDA BYNES plays Tracy's somewhat air-headed best friend who also enjoys the show and then finds herself deeply smitten by Seaweed.
  • JAMES MARSDEN plays the slick crooner type host of the TV show who wants to integrate it.
  • QUEEN LATIFAH plays the once monthly host of the black dancing day on the TV show. When she learns of its cancellation, she helps stage a protest.
  • BRITTANY SNOW plays Velma's snooty daughter who looks down on Tracy and her ideas about integrating the show.
  • ZAC EFRON plays the dreamy dancer and singer on the show who draws Tracy's interest.
  • ELIJAH KELLEY plays Maybelle's teenage son who's quite good on the dance floor and finds himself drawn to Penny despite knowing the social obstacles in their way.
  • ALLISON JANNEY plays Penny's ultra-conservative mom who doesn't approve of her daughter's behavior or her watching of the dance show.
  • TAYLOR PARKS plays Seaweed's younger sister who shows her stuff on the dance floor, and is upset when he learns that the TV show's once monthly "Negro Day" has been canceled.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated comedy. Profanity consists of a slang term for sex, along with a handful of other expletives as well as various colorful phrases. Other sexually related dialogue, innuendo and song lyrics are present, as is some teen kissing, while one minor teen character is noted as being pregnant. A flasher does his thing, but we don't see the results, and a woman sexually comes on to a man (played for comedy), while the camera occasionally focuses on the bodies of male and female dancers in motion.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including toward overweight and black people, and related thematic elements are present. There's some drinking and smoking, brief crude humor, and some of that and other behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate. Some slapstick style material also occurs.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some camera movement, but it's more fluid than shaky, including some spin around camera shots.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • During a musical number, a drunk in a bar passes out onto the table.
  • Not wanting to go out in public, Edna makes a facetious comment about people seeing her drinking rum and Cokes.
  • We see some pregnant women drinking and smoking in a bar (played for laughs).
  • A song has a line about a beer costing a quarter. Edna then sings for Wilbur to pour her a triple so they can toast something.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Wilbur shows Velma a cigarette dispenser where the cigarette slides out of a small donkey's rear end. He then shows her Belgian chocolate animal droppings (in a candy box where the chocolate looks like small piles of such material).
  • We hear some farting sounds as Wilbur rolls over on a makeshift mattress in his shop, but we then see that the mattress is really a series of whoopee cushions.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • There's a newspaper headline about "Negros" being banned from something.
  • During a musical number, a flasher (John Waters, the director of the original film) opens his coat and shocks some people on a sidewalk, but we don't see anything as his back is to the camera (although he's obviously wearing a shirt).
  • We see a disproportionate number of black students in detention.
  • Prudy mentions (in disgust) "race music."
  • Velma comments that they need to steer the kids in the "white direction" (a purposeful slip of the tongue in place of "right direction").
  • Seeing Tracy, Penny, and others at the audition for a new dancer on the TV show, Velma comments on the "motley crew." Other make fun of them, and Amber then comments on the show not being broadcast in Cinemascope (referring to Tracy's size), and it's said that Tracy won't get a date based on being short and stout, her clothes, and her nose. Velma and others also react in shock when Tracy answers that yes, she would swim in an integrated pool.
  • Black and white dancers are separated by a rope on the dance floor.
  • Velma complains about the white kids "dancing like savages" (meaning like black kids).
  • Velma looks down on Maybelle (who's black), telling her the show's demographics when she's hosting are only cleaning ladies and lawn jockeys.
  • We see some pregnant women drinking and smoking in a bar (played for laughs).
  • When Edna and Tracy arrive at a clothing store for large women, the owner (who wants Tracy to be his spokeswomen) gives them a large plate of donuts.
  • Trying to make Tracy look bad in front of others, Amber says it's not true about Tracy and the entire football team, adding that anyone can get grass stains all over their back. She also has an outline drawing showing a male teacher with breasts, acting as if Tracy drew it.
  • Upset about how Tracy is treated in class, Link tells their teacher, "Kiss my ass" so that he can be sent to detention with her.
  • Amber refers to Tracy as the "great white whale."
  • Velma comes on to Wilbur in his novelty shop, trying anything to ruin Tracy's life.
  • To get his attention, Tracy whacks a cop on the back of the head with a cardboard protest sign (and then flees from the police as a fugitive).
  • News reports keep exaggerating the above (making it sound much worse).
  • After Prudy ties Penny to the bed to keep her away from Tracy, calls her a "devil child," and sprinkles her with what's presumably holy water.
  • Velma tries to rig a contest for Amber by adding fake votes for her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Tracy encounters some rats on the street, but the scene is played for light comedy during a musical number.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • After Prudy ties Penny to the bed to keep her away from Tracy, Seaweed enters her room, pops out a switchblade, and cuts the ropes.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You'd be in prison fighting whores for cigarettes," "Harlot," "Hey baby, you look like you could use a stiff one," "You little wh..olly moly," "This is nuts," "Not bad for a white chick," "You're joining this program already in progress," "I wish every day was Negro day," "Has fame gone to your head and make you whacky?" "Kiss my ass," "Calm down, cracker-boy," "This is so Afro-tastic," "That's just bull," "If we can't put a smile on your face, your skin's too tight," "Hon," "Dimwit," "Devil child, devil child," "Shut up," "I am now a checkerboard chick" and "I just don't give a damn."
  • Some kids may want to repeatedly sing the song lyrics and/or imitate some of the dance moves seen in the film.
  • During a musical number, a flasher (John Waters, the director of the original film) opens his coat and shocks some people on a sidewalk, but we don't see anything as his back is to the camera (although he's obviously wearing a shirt).
  • During a musical number, Tracy rides on top of a large truck, singing her song.
  • We see what looks like a teen dancer placing falsies down the front of her top before going on TV, while a male teen is confronted and he pulls a sock out from the front of his pants.
  • Tracy wants Penny to pinch her (in disbelief), so Penny does so, causing Tracy a little pain.
  • Tracy tartly says she's a "bad, bad girl who needs to be popped" (or something sounding like that) and smacks herself on her own clothed butt.
  • Seaweed propels himself over a parking meter by putting his hands on the top and then leaping over it.
  • After Prudy ties Penny to the bed to keep her away from Tracy, calls her a "devil child," and sprinkles her with what's presumably holy water.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has lyrics about the nicest kids in town being white (on the TV show) and that once a month they have "Negro day." It also encourages kids to dance and sing rather than do schoolwork (and promotes snoozing in school, etc. -- all played for comedy).
  • Tracy sings (thinking of Link) that she won't go all of the way, but she'll go pretty far, and about her and Link French kissing.
  • A song has the lyric, "Shake those hips in my direction."
  • Seaweed sings (about being black) that if you pick the fruit, the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice, and the darker the chocolate, the richer the taste (some may construe that as sexual innuendo).
  • A song uses the word "damn" and another, the phrase, "I just don't give a damn."
  • Edna sings for Wilbur to pour her a triple so they can toast something.
  • A song has innuendo about hairspray: "Hey, baby, you look like you could use a stiff one."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 slang term for sex ("screwed"), 4 damns, 1 ass, 7 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • During a musical number, a flasher (John Waters, the director of the original film) opens his coat and shocks some people on a sidewalk, but we don't see anything as his back is to the camera (although he's obviously wearing a shirt).
  • We see what looks like a teen dancer placing falsies down the front of her top before going on TV, while a male teen is confronted and he pulls a sock out from the front of his pants.
  • On several occasions, the camera focuses in tight on characters' butts (young and old, male and female) as they dance in period appropriate attire (thus no skin is seen).
  • We hear that one of the TV show's teen dancers is leaving, for nine months (meaning she's pregnant), and that they're looking for a replacement who's fun loving but maybe not as free wheeling.
  • Velma sings about when she was "Miss Baltimore Crabs" and that the runner-ups padded their cups (bras) while she "screwed the judges."
  • Seaweed shows Tracy a dance he calls "Peyton Place After Midnight" and says that he uses it to attract the opposite sex.
  • Tracy sings (thinking of Link) that she won't go all of the way, but she'll go pretty far, and about her and Link French kissing.
  • A song has the lyric, "Shake those hips in my direction."
  • There's some sexy dance moves from time to time, as well as some close male/female dancing, but nothing too explicit.
  • From time to time, a little miscellaneous cleavage is seen.
  • Transfixed by Seaweed, Penny has a sucker in her mouth (that some could construe as somewhat sexual in tone). Other scenes feature her in the same near-lusty stare.
  • When the dressing room curtain is opened, we see Edna in a large bustier.
  • Trying to make Tracy look bad in front of others, Amber says it's not true about Tracy and the entire football team, adding that anyone can get grass stains all over their back. She also has an outline drawing showing a male teacher with breasts, acting as if Tracy drew it.
  • Seaweed sings (about being black) that if you pick the fruit, the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice, and the darker the chocolate, the richer the taste (some may construe that as sexual innuendo).
  • Maybelle shows some cleavage.
  • Velma comes on to Wilbur in his novelty shop, trying anything to ruin Tracy's life. He's ignorant to what she's doing, including when she tells him he doesn't need the x-ray specs he's wearing "to see under these clothes." When he says he failed geometry class, she snidely says she's bets biology class as well. She then says that she's selling something (herself) that you can't buy in a 10-cent store. She then puts her bare leg up along his side, just as Edna walks in. Seeing that, she pulls Wilbur tight to her up against a wall to make it look like he's ravishing her.
  • Wilbur playfully pats Edna on her clothed butt. Moments later, Edna playfully shakes her clothed butt, with Wilbur then grabbing it.
  • Wilbur tells Edna she's gotten him "hot and heavy." Edna also playfully shows him a little leg, causing him to state, "Ring-a-ding-ding."
  • Prudy tells Penny that if it weren't for her keeping her away from Tracy, the teen would be in prison "fighting whores for cigarettes."
  • Seaweed plants a kiss on Penny. She then says that she's tasted chocolate and is never going back.
  • Penny shows some cleavage.
  • About whether Tracy will try to crash the TV show to win the "Miss Baltimore Crabs" pageant, Velma says she (Velma) risked communicable diseases to win, so Tracy will surely risk going to jail for her chance.
  • A song has innuendo about hairspray: "Hey, baby, you look like you could use a stiff one."
  • Velma adjusts her clothed breasts.
  • About being with a black guy, Penny says, "I am now a checkerboard chick."
  • Link and Tracy do some brief kissing.
  • SMOKING
  • Various miscellaneous characters (including students and teachers) smoke in several scenes.
  • We see some pregnant women drinking and smoking in a bar (played for laughs).
  • Wilbur has a fake cigar.
  • Prudy tells Penny that if it weren't for her keeping her away from Tracy, the teen would be in prison "fighting whores for cigarettes."
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mistaking Velma coming on to Wilbur as him having a fling with her, Edna is upset. She throws a rubber chicken at him, and then has the locks changed so that he must sleep elsewhere.
  • Prudy tells Penny to wait until her dad gets out of prison (said along the lines of "Wait until your father gets home" in terms of punishment).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Racism in the past and today.
  • Segregation and integration that occurred in the past.
  • Following one's dream.
  • Accepting others for who and what they are.
  • Tracy joining the TV station protest despite being told the potential repercussions of being the only white person in that.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Tracy wants Penny to pinch her (in disbelief), so Penny does so, causing Tracy a little pain.
  • While singing a song, Tracy pushes some students out of the way and grabs another, slamming him back against the lockers (all played for light comedy).
  • During a musical number, a basketball hits Tracy in the face, knocking her to the floor (played for light comedy).
  • Mistaking Velma coming on to Wilbur as him having a fling with her, Edna is upset and throws a rubber chicken at him.
  • To get his attention, Tracy whacks a cop on the back of the head with a cardboard protest sign (and then flees from the police as a fugitive).
  • Corny accidentally hits Amber in the face while gesticulating.
  • After being locked out of the station, some cops ram the doors with a huge, fake can of hairspray.
  • Prudy falls over her coffee table.
  • Amber falls down to the dance floor after being lifted up a decent distance above it, but is okay (played for laughs).



  • Reviewed July 16, 2007 / Posted July 20, 2007

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Halloween Kills] [Mass] [The Last Duel] [Needle in a Timestack] [No Time To Die] [Lamb]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2021 Screen It, Inc.