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Trailer Blazer: 'Hairspray'

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Kinda weird: having been converted from a movie to a stage show and back into a movie, the new Hairspray (due July 20) looks strikingly like John Waters’ original film from 20 years ago, only with better-looking actors who occasionally break into song. Still, something seems off. I don’t think it’s newcomer Nikki Blonsky, who may prove to be a find on the order of Ricki Lake in the original. I don’t think it’s Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken; they’re both hamming it up a little much, but the material kinda calls for it. On the other hand, Queen Latifah is nowhere near the force of nature Ruth Brown was (of course, Brown had been in showbiz about twice as long as Latifah when she played Motormouth Maybelle). And John Travolta makes a pretty decent fat lady — he really looks like he could be Blonsky’s mom — until he opens his mouth. Man, I really hope my misgivings are unjustified, but I’m starting to fear that this new Hairspray will be less than divine.

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