When a film is as good as the original Hairspray, it makes you wonder why on earth anyone would dare to re-make it. Luckily, John Waters is still involved as executive producer, and what we have is actually an adaptation of the (later) musical stage production, so it didn't feel as though I was watching the same film with different actors.
The plot has been tweaked (and almost disney-fied) a little, but still retains the central themes and story. For those who don't know the original, it's a story of acceptance in the changing times of 1962 America. Our protagonist, Tracy, is a positive and outgoing role model who refuses to judge (or to judge) on physical appearance. As she pursues her personal dream of stardom she also campaigns for integration and equality.
The story is sung and acted out by a great cast of all-rounders, including High School Musical's Zac Efron and newcomer Nikki Blonsky. Both are fantastic. Elijah Kelley as Seaweed also stole the show for me a little bit.
Everyone gets a chance to sing, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Brittany Snow. We also get to see some moves from Christopher Walken and John Travolta (although he is restricted a little by his dress).
For me, John Travolta's portrayal of Edna Turnblad is a little embarrassing (mainly the voice he uses) but it's all good fun, I guess! I can't fault the rest of the cast, although it's a shame we didn't see more of James Marsden and Allison Janney.
For fans of the original there's a cameo for Jerry Stiller as Mr Pinky, and there are also blink-or-you'll-miss-it cameos from Rikki Lake as an agent, and John Waters himself as the neighbourhood flasher!
Altogether, very entertaining and enjoyable. It's not a re-make of the 1988 film, it's an all singing, all dancing musical production!