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Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Ricki? No Ricki?

posted by on July 21 at 23:45 PM


Okay, Dave is right—letting the fat white girl found the Civil Rights Movement? That’s a little offensive. And letting Corny Collins, hot though his white ass may be, singlehandedly integrate American television? Just as offensive.

But what I kept wondering while I watched Hairspray tonight… was… no cameo for Ricki Lake? What’s with that?

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Ricki did have a sort of cameo. She, original Broadway Tracey Marissa Jaret Winokur, and new Tracey Nikki Blonsky sing "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now" over the credits. Overall, I think the movie is pretty great, although the dancing was rarely as exciting as it should have been.

Posted by Landon Bryce | July 22, 2007 2:32 AM

Now, I COULD be snarky and obnoxious by saying it's because the movie is just a cheap knockoff of the original. But I won't.

Posted by iflurry | July 22, 2007 3:13 AM

Divine was divine in her role as the mother in the John Waters version. For Ricky, it was her standout acting performance that was great. (I haven't seen this movie yet) Ricky, even if she had to don a fat suit, would have made the perfect mom for this incarnation, I'm sure. From the scenes I've seen, Travolta sucks. He was probably only included for his name recognition. I'll go see it though, just because the first one was so good.

Posted by lawrence clark | July 22, 2007 3:22 AM

Sorry about the Ricky, Ricki misspellings.

Posted by lawrence clark | July 22, 2007 3:26 AM

Ricki Lake does have a cameo in the film. She is one of the talent agents at the end along with director Adam Shankman and music/lyrics writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Posted by TTM | July 22, 2007 3:49 AM

Filmography on IMDb: Hairspray (2007) .... Talent Agent

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 22, 2007 10:46 AM

Oh, my God! I didn't recognize her at all. Thanks TTM!

And, yes, Travolta is pretty awful.

Posted by Dan Savage | July 22, 2007 10:50 AM

You beat me to it, TTM. She has a black flip wig on. Not one line of dialog though.

Please don't tell anyone I saw it last night too. They should have cast a large woman in the role of Edna. The fat suit and Travolta's meat fists made him look stupid not ironic or humorous. His eyes are too close together with all the pseudo-fat around his head.

Anyway...this is not a historical documentary examination of American history. Preposterousness doesn't conflict with what we all SHOULD already know. Ah, Broadway....ick.

Posted by patrick | July 22, 2007 10:53 AM

@8 Well, no, Edna should always be a man. It's a man's role. And I'm pretty sure any other man would have been better than John Travolta.

Posted by Andy | July 22, 2007 11:30 AM

"Hairspray" is a movie musical, folks; if you're looking for verisimilitude, maybe you should see "Roots".

Posted by KENTUCKY KERNEL OF TRUTH | July 22, 2007 11:46 AM

You actually went to see it?

Posted by Deacon Seattle | July 22, 2007 2:41 PM

I just got back from the movie! I saw it on stage with the original Broadway cast, and they did an excellent job translating it to the screen. So. Much. Fun. Fabulous. Strangely, I didn't mind John Travolta, and he easily got the biggest reaction from the crowd surrounding me. I love musicals. Sigh.

Posted by Michigan Matt | July 22, 2007 4:05 PM

The original movie and the subsequent theater musical were performed with a knowing wink. The movie doesn't have that depth. It's a town full of village idiots - a clown school's dress rehearsal.
But then, when has Hollywood not taken a divinely ironic Reine de Saba and, using the lowest common denominator formula, turned it into a sugar-free fudgesicle?

Posted by Bauhaus | July 22, 2007 5:43 PM

But sometimes shallow is just. . . fun.

Posted by Michigan Matt | July 22, 2007 6:15 PM

I enjoyed the John Waters cameo as the streaker. Travolta didn't fit though, and now I can't stop thinking about him Christopher Walken in bed.

Posted by Asmodei | July 22, 2007 10:09 PM

As a resident of Bal'mer. I can only say that I am horrified by this remake. How can you improve on:

Divine, Ricki Lake, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono and Jerry Stiller? How. Why try? John Travolta? Don't make me throw up.

Posted by Jonathan | July 23, 2007 7:42 AM

And a cameo by Pia Zadora. Come on. No hollywood casting agent can even come close to this...

Posted by Jonathan | July 23, 2007 7:50 AM

You're kidding, right? She's one of the talent agents in the last scene!

Posted by Enuky | July 23, 2007 10:55 AM

Never liked Hairspray. It's a naive idealist's movie with a naive idealist protagonist, and it does seem to be trivializing a highly significant issue in American history. Ms. Turnblad's idealism is to be admired, of course, but she's so STUPID. Can anyone watch her say that she's actually black underneath her skin and not cringe (please tell me that part didn't get included in the remake)? Furthermore, there's something just too fantasy-land about the fat chick getting the most popular guy in school. Good-looking guys don't go for fat chicks, or if they do, they don't get the courage to admit it until much later in life; this is what Savage Love taught me, at least. Waters largely corrected all these problems in his next movie, Cry-Baby, where the attractive teen rebel is played young Johnny Depp, who is both legitimately attractive and legitimately rebellious.

Posted by MBI | July 23, 2007 12:03 PM

Love the musical, laughed and loved the movie...

But honestly. John. Travolta.

Dear God, where is Harvey when we need him?!

Posted by Courtney Taylor | July 23, 2007 10:06 PM

I enjoyed the movie. The scene with John Travolta and Christopher Walken (just love that man) was outrageous.

Posted by Adrienne | July 24, 2007 12:32 AM

Re: your original post. Penn Jillette said that mistaking a representation of something for the real thing is truly the definition of voodoo. We all get that white people had no major roles in the civil rights movement, so no offense taken here. Give John Travolta some credit for being the only one who affected a Baltimore accent, OK, "Hon?"

Posted by Susan Rogers | July 24, 2007 10:05 AM

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