OK - I told you (my two whole readers...?) that I would write about Hairspray today, and I am a fish of my word.
First, I'll start with the stuff I didn't like about it; and then, we'll get to why it is important to me right now.
For starters, I really would have liked it better if they got an actual fat-and-fabulous actress to play Edna. To be honest, I thought John Travolta as a chick was pretty funny; but the more I see it (on permanent loop in my dvd player right now), I wish they'd have gone with a woman. A fat woman. A fabulous woman. Like they did for Maybelle - Queen Latifah? Big, blonde, and beautiful!
Ok second, the powers that be on this movie portray this: Fat girls are fat because they can't stop eating. Tracy has candy bars snuck under her pillow. Edna can't say no to some braised chicken or cornbread. It smacks of "you're fat because you can't stop eating." And even though it is a work of fiction, I'd have liked it if they left out the little candybars. Let's have a fat girl be fat just because she is. We don't need to know the reason why.
Ok, so those are my two downers. On the whole, though, I am in love with this movie. Wanna know why? THE FAT GIRL WINS. Let's put all of the integration aside for a moment (even though woo!) and just make it about that. The fat girl wins in a big way. Hairspray is on its second or third incarnation, and I think this one is the best yet because Tracy Turnblatt is unashamed of her difference, her fat. Throughout the whole movie, she's dancing, singing, and gyrating all over the place because she's OK in her fat. And I love that. And at the end? Everybody's in on the fat show, and I loved it. There are some really, really good moments in this movie aimed directly at anybody who is different from the norm. You're different, too? Hey, that's ok! That is the theme for the entire movie, and it really got me. Makes a fat girl wanna win, too. :)