Hairspray follows in the footsteps of Little Shop of Horrors and The Producers as campy movies that became even more campy stage musicals before returning to the screen in lavish song-and-dance productions. (Spamalot may be the next title to follow this increasingly familiar path.) While no one would accuse Hairspray of occupying the upper echelon of movie musicals, it's an entertaining diversion, which is about the most anyone could hope for from something ultimately spawned in the mind of John Waters. That plot is slight but the characters are likeable and the tunes are catchy (if not memorable). And the film doesn't put on airs. It's content to be what it is without trying to challenge A-list, would-be Oscar contenders like Chicago and Dreamgirls.
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