Hairpray “isn’t noxious like Dreamgirls, but it isn’t nearly good enough,” declares N.Y. Press critic Armond White. “Based on John Waters‘ 1988 satire of civil rights-era nostalgia, this movie-musical adaptation makes the same mistake as the 2002 Broadway incarnation — it domesticates Waters’ parodistic anarchy into general-audience silliness. All of Waters’ ideas about social conventions, race and sex rebellion are flattened; the characters representing subversive ideologies are broadened into caricatures.”