Not long ago, I posted a Monday Morning Poll asking which summer films you think will surprise us the most. For awhile now I've been in the minority in predicting that New Line's Hairspray will wind up shocking a lot of people when it turns out to be one of the more entertaining films this summer has to offer. I'm not sure why I felt that way; sometimes you just get this vibe and you either run with it or keep it to yourself for fear you could be completely wrong. I've always liked Hairspray (saw the original movie a bunch, as well as the Broadway musical); it's colorful, campy and fun -- and if director Adam Shankman can find a way to update the film so that it appeals to a wider audience, while still managing to retain Hairspray's awesome quirkiness, then pic should have no problem pleasing just about everyone when it arrives in theaters on July 20.
That said, I discovered an early review of the film over at Fox News that leads me to believe my initial instincts were right on the money. Not only does it refer to John Travolta's performance, in drag, as Edna Turnblad, as "remarkable," but it also calls the film "a big colorful carnival, with loads of cotton candy." The review goes on to rave about the various cast members -- with Queen Latifah (who they say could wind up with a few more awards and nominations) being their favorite -- and Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer and newcomer Nikki Blonsky all turning in "excellent" performances in their respective roles. But don't expect Hairspray to break any box office records right out of the gate. Since it will face some pretty heavy competition from the Adam Sandler comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, as well as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which will be in its second week), it might take a little while for Hairspray to build buzz. Nevertheless, come this fall, I wouldn't be surprised if Hairspray is one of only a handful of summer flicks people are still talking about.