Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Hairspray (2007)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Infectiously fun musical with a message.

Movie PG 2007 120 minutes
Hairspray (2007) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 30 parent reviews

age 16+

Inappropriate for younger kids...

"Daddy, why did that boy pull a sock out of his pants?" "Well, honey - boys want to make their bulge look larger than it actually is, just like girls like to make their breasts look larger." "Oh, is that why that she pulled the stuff out of her bra?" These are some of the questions that might come up while watching HAIRSPRAY. The movie was very entertaining as far as a musical goes, but the "message" of fat-shaming and racism seem to go un-noticed. I am surprised so many parents miss the overt sexual innuendo and promiscuity. (Not to mention the smoking!)

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
3 people found this helpful.
age 10+
Very fun musical for the whole family. Definitely sparked questions and good conversation about racism in "the olden days", but I was prepared for this. My daughters love this movie.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (30 ):
Kids say (117 ):

Director (and choreographer) Shankman captures both the essence of the Broadway show's magic and the original film's timeless camp value to create a memorable movie musical. Shankman is best known for formulaic romantic and family comedies, but he successfully achieved here what 2005's The Producers utterly failed to do. (Oh, and that cutie pie Efron definitely helps, too.)

Travolta should consider his role a gift, since he's more enchanting as Mrs. Turnblad than he's been on screen in more than a decade. And as Mrs. Turnblad's husband, Wilbur, Christopher Walken again perfects his mastery of slow talking and soft shoeing. Waters himself couldn't have cast a better mom and pop odd couple. Some of the best songs and moves belong to the "Negro Day" dancers, like smooth-talking Seaweed (Elijah Kelly, who deserves an Efron-esque following of his own after this stand-out performance). And Queen Latifah's ballad "I Know Where I've Been" touchingly accompanies a civil-rights march calling for on-air desegregation.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate