With its cheerfully loony evocation of the 60s, "Hairspray" has scored big with reviewers. "The movie's style and exuberance torpedoed my misgivings within seconds," says the LATimes. The movie-turned-musical-turned-movie is also being praised for its star turns, by a fatsuited John Travolta and plump newcomer Nikki Blonsky.
The WashPost, meanwhile, says the "real star" is director-choreographer Adam Shankman. Other critics were impressed with the movie's "stick up for the outsider" theme and snark-free tone. And most liked the way Travolta turned the once terrifying transvestite Edna Turnblad into a genial character. By all accounts, Travolta plays the character, well, straight.