Day: June 16, 2019

Hairspray (2007)

We head to Baltimore this week to hang out with Tracy and Edna Turnblad, take on segregation and get off with Zac Efron. Yes, it’s the wonderful remake of The Sultan of Sleaze’s seminal classic Hairspray and everything is right with the world. Except the fact Divine is no longer with us. That bit sucks.

Pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.

John TravoltaQueen LatifahNikki BlonskyMichelle PfeifferZac EfronBrittany Snow

You Can’t Stop The Beat.

Tracy Turnblad (Blonsky) is a fat white girl living in Baltimore with her parents Edna (Travolta) and Wilbur (Christopher Walken). She’s #obsessed with dancing and never misses The Corny Collins Show on the local network. Her best friend Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes) has to sneak out of her highly religious mother’s (Allison Janney) house to go watch the show at the Turnblads’.

The teenage regulars who dance on the show attend the local high school with Tracy and Penny but they’re worlds apart in the social hierarchy. Queen bee Amber Von Tussle (Snow) doesn’t stand a chance with a mother like Velma (Pfeiffer), who works for the television station that produces The Corny Collins Show. Velma uses her position to ensure Amber is center stage at all times – and urges her to keep her relationship with handsome beau, Link Larkin (Efron) “for the cameras”.

While the show and its dancers are all white, it does allow African-Americans on once a month for “Negro Day”, hosted by DJ Motormouth Maybelle (Latifah). Much to Velma’s disdain.

When one of the regular dancers is required to step off the show “for about nine months”, a public audition is held for her replacement. Naturally, Tracy is first in line to try out but has the challenge of persuading her mother to let her go first.

Edna is an agoraphobic who hasn’t left the house for decades, ashamed of how she looks and constantly on a diet. She fears for her daughter while Wilbur is slightly more positive, telling her to go for it.

The audition doesn’t go according to plan though, as Velma brutally rejects Tracy for being fat and supporting racial integration. Devastated, Tracy returns to school where she’s given detention for cutting class. Here she bumps into Seaweed (Elijah Kelley) and some of the other black dancers from the show who teach her a few moves, which she takes to like a duck to water. They instantly welcome her into the fold and tell her she’s got impressive talent for a white chick.

When Link accidentally walks in on them, he tells Tracy about a record hop being hosted by Corny Collins (James Marsden) himself, where she can have a second chance at impressing him. Which of course she fucking does because she dances rings around Amber and the others. She joins the show and quickly becomes one of the most popular cast members, threatening Amber’s chances of being crowned “Miss Teenage Hairspray”. Not only that but Link starts to fall for her, despite the fact she’s fat and everybody knows fat girls die alone.

“Do it now, or forever wish you had.” ~ Wilbur Turnblad

While things are going pretty well for Tracy, who has just become the spokesmodel for Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway boutique – and has even managed to get Mum out of the house and into some damn fine frocks of her own – racial tensions in the city run high. Penny meets and falls madly in love with Seaweed, who is also Motormouth’s son – while Maybelle encourages Edna to take more pride in who she is. Pretty sure I’d do anything and everything Queen Latifah told me to.

Maybelle has just learned that “Negro Day” has been cancelled, so Tracy suggests they march for integration. Link’s not so sure, scared of jeopardising his career but Tracy’s all in.

Will the march serve its intended purpose or will shit backfire in Tracy’s face? More importantly (not really, but for the sake of the story), will she make it to the Teenage Hairspray pageant to take her rightful place as winner?

hairspray23

I love the original more than life but I don’t think this version is too bad at all. The songs are great, Nikki Blonsky is a freaking gem and you know what, I feel as though Travolta really brings his A-game to the role of Edna. It’s soft and nuanced – and I feel nothing but sympathy for her as she suffers with body image issues and confidence.

In contrast, it is delicious to watch Velma get her comeuppance, the racist, fat-shaming bitch. I love how Tracy stirs shit up and doesn’t allow her mother’s indirect insecurities to mess with her head. I find it so heart-warming when the women lift Edna up and her final number is great.

Hairspray looks at serious social injustice and doesn’t shy away from how shit and inhumane racism is – which makes me wonder what a modern Hairspray might look like in 2019. I wonder who’d direct? Imagine a Jordan Peele version?

Film details:

Hairspray
Year: 2007
Director: Adam Shankman
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
My Rating: 4/5

How did my love do with this one? Would she crown it Miss Teen Hairspray or segregate it forever? Twist on over here to find out.

Cool Breeze Over the Mountains: Keanu’s Year

Keanu was my first love. Honestly, when I first clapped eyes on his sultry good looks, he stirred something in me that wasn’t completely innocent or holy – he made me curious about the opposite sex. Parenthood was my jam in particular and when I think about it even now, I get a little tingle.

I haven’t stopped loving him since and if we’re honest, this post is just one giant thirst trap. I’m using Keanu’s amazing 2019 as an excuse to post pictures of him and I’m not even going to deny it. It has been quite the year though so I thought I’d look at all the reasons Mr Reeves in still, and always with be, The One.


Not All Men Keanu

I don’t think men should be congratulated for doing bare minimum (not being perverts, etc) but in this climate, the actual good guys do stand out. While I don’t know Keanu personally (more’s the pity), I believe he’s a good person.

Recent photographs of him standing respectfully next to female co-stars (including Dolly Parton) and fans alike, keeping his hands strategically off their bodies has done nothing but reinforce this.

Horsin’ Around Keanu

Uh, John Wick 3 was fun AF but Keanu riding a horse through the streets of NYC, while fighting off the bad guys? HELLO. To be that saddle, amiright?!

A word about the John Wick franchise. I love the physicality of the role and it’s perfect for our boy, who’s notoriously method when it comes to his action parts. Even as an older gentleman, K uses his body to its fullest and I might have to stop typing this and have a little lie down for a moment.

But seriously, John Wick is a highly nuanced character and not just emotionally. Our hero kicks serious butt but he also suffers, looks knackered and in need of a damn good bubble bath after every fight – and I respect that.

This GQ Shoot Keanu

Sir Reeves was GQ’s May cover star and oh boy does he work it. No, I haven’t read The Legend of Keanu Reeves article that accompanies the set but I will. I definitely will.

*Sigh*

Always Be My Maybe Keanu

The man who embraces his mediocre nothingness shines greater than any. ~ Keanu Reeves as Keanu Reeves

The man himself plays Ali Wong‘s fling in this lovely romantic comedy and he’s brilliant. Sending himself up as the ultimate Hollywood douche, his scenes shine bright like a diamond in an already sparkling film. Sure, I’m biased so what?

The restaurant segment is wonderful as he and love rival Marcus Kim (Randall Park) vie for Sasha Tran’s (Wong) attention.

Destination Wedding Keanu

The story of two miserable and unpleasant wedding guests, Lindsay and Frank, who develop a mutual affection despite themselves.

I feel like this movie has been out forever in the US but hasn’t even opened in our theaters yet. It’s coming in the Summer I think. Either way, I’m waiting patiently for this Winona Ryder/KR pairing. It will be amazing regardless of whether it’s actually good or not.

Also, Keanu: “Unpleasant”, is that even possible?

Cyberpunk Keanu

I’m not a gamer at all so I genuinely don’t give a fuck about the game itself – however: a moment for this look. Rocking Bucky Barnes chic, CGI Reeves is just as beautiful as the real thing. If Glynn buys and plays Cyberpunk 2077 then maybe I’ll hang around to watch a little bit.

Be My Toy, Keanu

KR voices Canadian stuntman toy Duke Caboom in this month’s Toy Story 4 and I can’t wait. We’ve heard his dulcet tones voicing several animated characters over the years but I think he’ll be a magical addition to the Pixar universe.

“YOU’RE BREATHTAKING!” Keanu

During a Cyberpunk 2077 appearance, in response to a heckler screaming “You’re breathtaking!”, Reeves threw back the compliment, adding “You’re all breathtaking” to the audience. Is he the most perfect human being on this planet? By that token, is he even human? All I know is that we must protect him at all costs.

And finally…

Bill & Ted Face the Music Keanu

Once told they’d save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.

B & T are back to save the universe once more and they’ve never looked better. I love the idea of these Californian slackers being grown-ups but still essentially the same characters. If I’m honest I know little else about the premise and that’s okay. Roll on 2020.


It doesn’t seem as though the Keanussance is going to let up any time soon and teenage me would be so stoked about it.

Who knew my fantasy man would get better with every passing year?