The spirit and elan that captivated the Vietnam protest era are long gone, and what Forman tries to make up with splash and verve fails to evoke potent nostalgia.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Everyone seems sincere and bursting with energy, yet there is a strange lack of conviction: Forman has taken the honorable route by refusing to treat the material as easy nostalgia, but the confrontational sentiments no longer have the substance to survive his straightforward presentation.
Forman and screenwriter Michael Weller brought a sense of coherence to the original freewheeling structure and Twyla Tharp's choreography imparted an infectious dynamism. But, the profanity, nudity and disregard for the fourth wall that had made the stage show such a sensation were lost in the translation.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Jay Scott
Hair is entertaining - even fabulously entertaining - because it is so strange, so young, so innocent, so beneficent and adolescent, so lovable and so loving; it is entertaining because it is - all of it is - so impossible, so remote, so inconceivable in any place anywhere outside of a Hollywood musical. [28 Mar 1979]
The New York Times by Vincent Canby
A rollicking musical memoir, as much a recollection of the show as of the period, a film that has the charm of a fable and the slickness of Broadway show biz at its breathless best.