Hairspray with a little Camp

I loved Hairspray when it came out, I bought all the songs on iTunes and listened to the music on my miniPod. When I was looking for clips, I realized just how “exaggerated” the movie, especially this scene was. I did a little research on the multiple renditions of Hairspray and the 2007 film version hired Leslie Dixon as the screenwriter to tone down the campiness” that prevailed in earlier productions. Certain characters and songs were cut and the script primarily lined up with with the stage musical. The scene shows Tracy and Edna going to the department store to get new dresses for Edna. The scene is filled with exaggerated colors and glitter. The dress that Edna wears is pink sparkles. In addition, there are three back up singers enthusiastically singing while Edna tries on dresses. Edna is played by John Travolta, which caused some controversy in the gay community because the role was normally played by a famous drag queen. Instead Travolta has been linked to homophobia in regards to scientology. Despite his personal beliefs, Travolta still dresses up in feminine clothing and probably went through hours of makeup for the role. Travolta is known for his more “masculine” roles like Grease and Pulp Fiction, but this shows another more feminine side of him. While the main message of the scene is to be comfortable in your skin despite your flaws but according to “pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails.” This scene the seriousness is definitely lost due to the exaggerated parts.

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