Ricki lake hairspray, Hairspray is a 1988 comedy film written and directed by John Waters, and starring Ricki Lake, Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Michael St. Gerard, Shawn Thompson, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jerry Stiller, and in his last film role, Divine. Hairspray was a dramatic departure from Waters' earlier works, with a much broader intended audience. In fact, Hairspray's PG is the mildest rating a Waters film has received; most of his previous films were rated X by the MPAA. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film revolves around self-proclaimed "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy Turnblad as she pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.
Hairspray was only a moderate success upon its initial
theatrical release, earning a modest gross of $8 million. However, it
managed to attract a larger audience on home video in the early 1990s and became a cult classic. Most critics praised the film, although some were displeased with the overall campiness.
In 2002, the film was adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name, which won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2003. A second film version of Hairspray, an adaptation of the stage musical, was also released by New Line Cinema in 2007, which included many changes of scripted items from the original. The film also ranks #444 on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.