Sunday, July 29, 2007

We Can Dance If We Want To

Last week we had family movie night out. All of our scheduling stars happened to be in alignment which meant the whole family was free to enjoy something together. Lady Di suggested we all see the movie Hairspray. She picked a very good movie.

The kids and I enjoy musicals so we were all on board for this one. We weren't disappointed. The film's music had Sweet Pea and Number One Son doing the 'rump wiggle' in their seats more than once. Sweet Pea's favorite part of the movie was seeing Tracy Turnblad's father, sleeping on a bed of whoopie cushions. You can imagine the wonderful sound effects from that scene. Lady Di and I got a kick out of the kids.

As it turns out, I was the only one in the family who had seen the original, John Waters, film from 1988. There are a few subtle references to that film in the current version.

The film also has a good message about segregation and race relations. It was interesting to note that N1S noticed that some people in the movie didn't want the different races to dance together. He couldn't figure out why that was. My friend, Clare's Dad, wrote a nice post about that. Another, less prominent message in the movie concerns self image and self confidence. The main character, Tracy, is not one of the popular kids. This fact doesn't stop her from having a very positive attitude of herself and towards others. She doesn't judge others and she doesn't hold herself back. She even helps her mother come out of her shell when she is self conscious of her weight and appearance.

When today's youths are following role models like Brittney and Lindsay and playing with Bratz dolls, it's nice to see a positive role model who may not fit the accepted celebrity fashion. There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. This image is, many times, unattainable by most youth. I don't want Sweet Pea thinking that she is inferior just because doesn't look like a Barbie doll. Tracy's character may have been overweight and over-cheerful, but she was also confident and comfortable with who she was. She did her own thing and did what she thought was the right thing. Even when the right thing wasn't popular or easy. I hope our kids learned that anyone can be their friend. Your friends don't all have to be the pretty, athletic, rich kids. Actually, I hope our kids will try to be friends with the kids who seem to be alone on the playground.

So I would suggest seeing Hairspray if you get the chance. Even if you normally don't like musicals. It's a good film for children too. It is positive, funny, has good music and John Travolta in drag. And lots of whoopie cushions. I suggest seeing the 1988 version with Rikki Lake too.


delightful-d said...

Wonderful post LB..... thank you for sharing the movie with us!

creative-type dad said...


I barely remember the John Waters version, since I've only seen bits and pieces on cable.
I'm not a "waters" fan - except for "Cry Baby" (which was funny)

I wasn't planning on seeing the new Hairspray - maybe I will now.

Darren said...

Glad to see more fans of the movie...and thanks for the link too. I think this may even be a movie we'll buy on DVD. Your point about Tracy being a better role model than Barbie or Bratz is excellent. Another moment I liked was when Tracy, Link and Penny sat in the back of the bus when they were going with Seaweed.

DJ Kirkby said...

This has just arrived over here and I have ehard that Jhon Travolta is superb in it.

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.