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.