I have inherited a hatred of musicals from my mother and as a general rule the mere thought of them puts my teeth on edge.
However a lovely friend secured some free tickets to see Hairspray, so off we went last night.
The odds were further stacked against my liking this film when upon arriving at the the cinema everyone was unceremoniously forced to surrender their cell phones due to some ridiculous paranoia about photos. It was excessive and inconvenient, made worse when a moron inside the cinema asked everyone to turn their cell phones off to which everyone called back "You took all of our cell phones!". Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Then we ended up sitting in the second row of seats or sore-neck/blind alley.
Things were not looking good for this film.
Yet, I have to say that despite everything I actually enjoyed it. The film was colorful, energetic, fun and slick.
The entire cast did a great job but John Travolta, as Edna Turnblad, stole the show. I know nothing about the tradition of men playing this female role but John Travolta was fantastic and you could tell he was having a ball.
My favourite scene was John Travolta and screen husband Christopher Walken dancing in the back yard.
The moral message of the film was obvious and I liked the emphasis on not just embracing who you are but that you have to fight and stand up for yourself to make things right despite the risks. Not a new narrative arc by any means but one that never hurts to have reinforced.
I haven't changed my overall dislike of the musical genre but I will say that this musical struck the right chord with me.