A ChucksConnection Film Review


Elijah Kelley and his fellow dancers wear black high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.



by Marcus Angulo

Hairspray (2007) still 1

Seaweed is regarded as the best dancer at school..


Hairspray is a 2007 American musical comedy based on the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on John Waters’s 1988 comedy film of the same name. Set in the 1960s amongst the backdrop of racial integration, the musical and film have a hopeful story of following your dreams and inclusiveness. The star studded ensemble cast features John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Brittany Snow, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, and newcomer Nikki Blonsky.

Hairspray (2007) still 2

Seaweed’s black high top chucks show how much dancing he’s done in them.

In 1962, Tracy Turnblad (Blonsky) is a 16-year-old, heavyset high school student living in Baltimore. Along with her best friend Penny Pingleton (Bynes), Tracy frequently watches The Corny Collins Show, a local show featuring teen dancing, and the annual “Miss Teenage Hairspray” pageant. Most of the teenagers who dance on the show attend Tracy and Penny’s high school, among them Amber von Tussle (Snow) and her boyfriend Link Larkin (Efron), the lead dancers. Velma von Tussle (Pfeiffer) is Amber’s mom and runs the station the show is on, which means Amber is always presented as the star and is why she’ll likely win Miss Teen Hairspray. Corny Collins (Marsden) and all the dancers on the show are White, and Velma only allows African-American dancers on the show once a month on “Negro Day”, hosted by R&B disc jockey Motormouth Maybelle (Latifah).


Hairspray (2007) still 3

Seaweed is wonderfully played by Elijah Kelley.


One day, one of the main dancers on the show takes a leave of absence, and the show holds auditions for a replacement the next day. Tracy attends and impresses everyone except Velma, who rejects her for her overweight physique and for supporting integration. Tracy is given detention for missing class in order to attend the audition and arrives at the detention room where the “Negro Day” kids are practicing. Tracy befriends Seaweed (Kelley), the best dancer in school and Motormouth Maybelle’s son. As Tracy leaves detention, she inadvertently meets Link and dreams of a life with him. At a record hop, Tracy shows off the new moves she learned from Seaweed and they garner Corny’s attention. He then chooses her to join the show as the replacement dancer. Tracy quickly becomes one of Corny’s most popular performers, affecting Amber’s chances of winning the show’s annual “Miss Teenage Hairspray” pageant and her relationship with Link. This leads to a feud with the von Tussles and Tracy must show that anyone can be a dancer on the Corny Collins Show!

Hairspray (2007) still 4

Seaweed wears black high top chucks  through most of the film.

The aesthetic, costuming, and sets in this film are incredible. It all creates the scene perfectly for 1960s Baltimore and helps makes the characters and world come alive in a convincing way. The film, like most movie musicals, is bolstered by the performances of its cast, and they all do a wonderful job. However, special recognition has to be given to Elijah Kelley who steals the show as Seaweed, and Nikki Blonsky who in her first role absolutely nails the role of Tracy. The songs are very good in this film, as any fan of the musical will know. Some highlights are “Good Morning Baltimore”, “Welcome to the 60's”, “Run and Tell That”, and “You Can't Stop the Beat” . This one of the better movie musical films of the past twenty years so definitely check it out if you like musicals!

Hairspray (2007) still 5

Seaweed and his friends all wear chucks.

Best Chucks Scene

Hairspray (2007) still 6

“Run and Tell That” dance routine.


The best chucks scene in this film come during the number “Run and Tell That”. This is the big show stopping number for Seaweed, who wears black high top chucks through the vast majority of his scenes. We’ve met him in an earlier scene when Tracy first got detention and now she’s introduced him to both Penny and Link. Seaweed invites them to his place for a platter party hosted by his mom and then breaks out into this song that explains his outlook on his life and how confident he is he’s going to be the one to change things. He and his friends are constantly and unjustly sent to detention at school and shunned by society when at home, but Seaweed is confident he’ll win in the end. He’s coming to take what’s his and you can Run and Tell That!

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Seaweed strikes a pose in his chucks.

Hairspray. (2007) Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Amanda Bynes, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifa, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley.
Directed by Adam Shankman.
Categories: Drama, Comedy, Musical.
3 chucks rating MPAA Rating: PG


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