4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Watered Down Waters,
This review is from: Hairspray (2007) [DVD] (DVD)
I loved the original John Water's movie and many of the elements that made me love it were missing in this "sanitized" version so I can't agree with all the raves, I'm afraid.
The hard-edged, provocative and unconventional dialogue has been diluted to the point of bland. The ghost of Water's lines linger on but re-written for no apparent purpose other than to take the sting and the camp out of them. The song-score was okay but not at all memorable - certainly not as memorable as the former film's 60s originals soundtrack.
John Travolta mangles all his dialog in adopting the most bizarre of accents - an accent that bears no relation to anyone else's in the film btw. His singing leaves as much to be desired as ever. Christopher Walken, on the other hand, can't sing at all and was simply miscast.
I don't like the way they messed about with the plot or characterizations either. Edna simpers and all her strength is gone. Amber is presented as universally loathed from the get-go instead of feared and admired. Penny is too "pretty" (and too tall for her bf). Corny Collins' character is just all over the place (and that crappy line about giving someone a "stiff one"??? On 60s television??? I don't think so! It stuck out like a sore thumb.)
For the most part they all try their best but it just ends up being like a Disney version of the original. It just doesn't work for me.
I do wonder if I hadn't seen the original then would I have enjoyed this version more? And I think, yes...but not much more.