Admit it...John Travolta in a fat suit and a dress was just a little creepy. And that regional accent! What was that? Texas? Oklahoma? (Hairspray takes place in Baltimore.) The 2007 version is a nice showcase for Christopher Walken, who is actually a talented dancer. But sheesh...the number he performs with Travolta was 2 clicks East of weirdville. And anytime a director out-weirds John Waters you are talking weeeeeeeeeeird.
The best scenes of both films are, of course, the dance scenes. Personally, I think I would have had more fun at Motormouth Mabelle's record shop, but watching the kids dancing a "Madison" is like stumbling across something amazing in a museum basement. Keep your eyes peeled for cameos by Rick Ocasek (from the Cars) and Pia Zadora (from...Mars?) Advantage: 1988 version)
I'm just glad that Disney didn't get their hands on the rights to this story and try to animate it. But I do have to say that both flicks get 2 thumbs up for great dance numbers, crazy characters, and evocative music.