This week, I have talked to several women who complained that their husbands do not want to see Hairspray. One of them is mine! After seeing the movie tonight with a group of four women, I think I know why they claim to not want to see the movie and would like to convince them otherwise.
The buzz is all around us. Every television station as well as radio show has interviewed a cast member or talked about the movie, Hairspray. I have to admit, I fell right into the excitement and gathered a group of close friends and headed to the movies tonight. First, I tried unsuccessfully to convince my husband to go with me. The four of us were all Moms, over thirty, who remember Grease and the excitement that surrounded that movie as well. After the movie we all agreed, Hairspray had the same energy and appeal as Grease with a wonderful message intertwined.
The movie, Hairspray, was full of surprises. We spent the whole night saying, “I did not know he was in it,” and “I did not know she was in it!” The movie was full of energy and kept the storyline going without any lulls which kept you interested the entire time. The message of the movie could be easily identified and championed by men as well as women and I am certain that even the most skeptical mail would agree. That is, they would agree “if” they would agree to see the movie.
Common responses from men about why they are not willing to go see Hairspray: “I do not want to see a musical”, “I do not want to see John Travolta in a dress” and “I did not even like Grease.”
First, yes Hairspray is a musical but it also has a strong message and is still quite a humorous movie. The characters are sometimes exaggerated, on purpose, but the brilliant writing and directing ties the storyline together so well. John Travolta as Tracy’s Mom is actually very believable. A third of the way into the movie, you are completely on board with him being a woman and being her Mom. He/She is simply hilarious and as usual, his acting performance is outstanding.
Watching Hairspray, you find yourself feeling what the various characters must have felt during the early 1960’s. The black students were clearly labeled as “negros” and segregated from society. You feel for them whether you are black or white, man or woman. You recognize how strong they were during that time period and how ridiculous segregation was for society.
You can also identify with Tracy and her Mom when they were labeled as “fat” and considered to be a non-significant part of society. Yet in the end, they prove to be a very significant part. Whether you are overweight or not, women and men alike can certainly identify with being judged unfairly.
You can identify with Zac Efron’s Link Larkin as he struggles with his feelings about having the black dancers dance with the white dancers on the show. You watch him struggle with the way his girlfriend is a snob and is hateful to anyone considered an “outcast” by society. Link was not as strong as Tracy although he definitely thought the dancers should all dance together regardless of color. Men and women, can you think of a time in your life when you saw an injustice but struggled for the courage to do something about it?
The character, Tracy, is just such a sweet spirit with a kind heart and is full of passion. She is ready to lead the way to “change the world.” Although the world stereotypes her as “the fat girl,” her confidence is not taken from her. Men and women alike will be able to identify with her on some level and admire her as well.
No matter how great Hairspray is, the fact that it is a musical will have some men running for cover, or at least for the couch. The men in my life would tell you they did not like Grease and then watch it for the twentieth time on a moment’s notice. This will inevitably ring true once Hairspray comes out on DVD. Ok men, yes they sing and yikes…dance in Hairspray. But they also tell an important message and it is flat out funny in many parts of the movie. They do not sing opera and most of the songs contain funny lyrics.
Men, perhaps you can take the lead from Tracy and her courage. Have the courage to go see this movie and you will not regret it. Trust me, you are going to like the movie, Hairspray. Just wear an overcoat and sunglasses or a clever disguise if you must but go see it with your wife or girlfriend. She will thank “you” for it, and you will thank “me” for it.