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GRITZ Movie Reviews: Hairspray, Superbad, Nanny Diaries

Posted: Aug 28, 2007


What can you say about a movie that is turned into a highly successful Broadway show, and then back into a movie again? Well, one thing you can say is that the two film versions are totally different, and the new one is by far the best.

I really struggled with the decision on whether or not to go to this one. I mean, I have enjoyed John Travolta in many of his films (especially Pulp Fiction), but seeing him in drag playing a 300 pound suburbanite woman kind of struck me as something I might find hard to digest - no pun intended.

After seeing the film, I can truthfully report that Travolta is very convincing as Tracy Turnblad’s mother Edna, who starts out slow but dances her heart out before the show is finished. Nicole Blonsky is absolutely adorable as Tracy, a Baltimore girl with big hair and an even bigger heart.

The cast is great, and the music is early sixties and wonderful, with lyrics that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. Queen Latifah shines as Maybelle Amanda Bynes is as cute as can be as Penny, Tracy’s best friend. Outstanding performances abound within this all-star cast that also features Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Elijah Kelly, Zac Efron, and Brittany Snow, the cutie who starred in a similar role in the TV series American Dreams a couple of years ago. of course in that show, she wasn’t playing a bitch. Rikki Lake, who played Tracy in the original movie makes a cameo appearance as a talent agent, and original director John Waters shows up briefly in the opening sequence as a flasher.

The movie is fun and light hearted, while still managing to tackle major social issues of the sixties, most notably race relations and integration. It also teaches some serious lessons about judging anyone by their appearance, be it black or overweight.

A fun movie with great music. Highly recommended.

Five Stars




Scarlett Johansson stars as Annie Braddock, a 21 year old Jersey girl who takes a job as a Nanny in New York City. The only bad part is, she is employed by the family from hell. Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti are everything you hate about upscale business people with more dollars than sense, but their six year old son Grayer (Nicholas Reese) still has some hope of becoming a normal human being when he grows up.

Enter Johansson, a positive influence who begins to change the boy’s life in a good way, all the while falling in love with a tenant who lives in the same building as her employers. A fun movie with a few lessons about the most important things in life.

Three and One Half Stars





Seth and Evan are teenage best friends who are about to graduate high school and go to college, but only one of them got accepted to the school they applied to, and the friendship begins to falter. Along with their nerd friend Fogell, they attempt to use fake I.D.’s to buy booze for a party so they can impress the girls they have the hots for. Only thing is, Fogell botches up the plan by having the counterfeiter change his home state to Hawaii and his name to “McLovin.”

Police Officers Michaels and Slater (Seth Rogen and Bill Hader) end up palling around with McLovin, which sets the stage for some of the most hilarious comedy situations since the days of Animal House. A hilarious teenage comedy to be sure.

Four Stars

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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