In the vast landscape of the feature film, Hairspray really doesn't have much of a reason for being. It is a movie version of a Broadway version of a movie, sort of the same path that The Producers took when the musical version hit screens back in 2005.
Anyway, back to the reason for being. Well, it does not offer anything new storywise, nor does it bring anything new to the musical movie. So, why should anyone go see it? The answer is simple — it is an absolute blast of upbeat energy. Even if you are not a fan of musicals, and I am not their biggest champion, I dare you not to have a stupid smile plastered on your face while you tap your toes to the beat. I swear to you that it is quite infectious.
Even if you have not seen the 1988 John Waters film, or the musical, like me, you are likely already privy to what the story entails. It involves a rotund ball of energy, Tracy Turnblad (played by the inhumanly energetic and charismatic Nikki Blonsky), whose absolute bestest dream is to be a dancer on the Corny Collins Show, a local Baltimore-based teen dancing show not unlike American Bandstand. Each day, Tracy and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes) count down the minutes at school while attempting to stay awake, so that when that final bell rings they can rush home to watch the popular show, much to the chagrin of their parents.
One day, she gets a shot to try out for the show. Of course, Tracy's size proves to be a detriment, and she is laughed off the set. Then, back at school, she gets detention for cutting class (you know, so she could go to the tryout). When she arrives at that fated room, she is greeted by class full of black kids (you know, in these unenlightened days the black kids were a bad influence, as evidenced by their only time on the Corny Collins Show being the once a month Negro Day headed up by Queen Latifah). Her likable energy allows her to fit right in and learn some new dance moves, which she in turn takes to the studio (kinda like Elvis). She catches the eye of Corny and is put on the show.