Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hairspray (movie review)

This remake of the John Waters comedy is disturbing, as it leaves me wondering if our failure to achieve escape velocity from the target of both spoofs, the 1960s, means we're destined to keep to this lowly orbit, forever and ever.

Truman Show
, Pleasantville, Yes Men... and yet we're still here?

Then I realize the movie explores some new ground, spoofing the movie and musical genres more completely (clich├ęs on steroids) plus it explores ageism a little, not just racism.

Still, I expected Travolta to strike a disco dance pose or two, a wink to the audience, more water under that bridge.

But in doing nothing so covert, he brings a surprising innocence to his role as Divine, reminding me of De Niro in Stardust somewhat (I hope I don't get in trouble for saying that).

When it comes to spoofing musicals, Portland loves the Buffy episode that does that.

Two other things struck me about the rented DVD: the preview for The Golden Compass was like a complete synopsis, truly a preview; and for extra features, you needed a computer and a very special case stack of software, which I just happened to have, but not the patience.

Some sly winks about camera tricks, in salute to a great director- psychologist.