From “Grease” to “Hairspray”: Travolta’s celluloid pomade finally gels

It’s set: John Travolta will play sad-sack housefrau Edna Turnblad and Queen Latifah will star as Motormouth Maybelle in New Line‘s retread of “Hairspray.”

It’s amazing, and inspired, really: Travolta can tack from such iconic roles as “Saturday Night Fever” to utter drek like “Moment by Moment” a year later. From “Urban Cowboy” to “Shout.” From “Shout” to “Pulp Fiction” and “Get Shorty.” But from “Get Shorty” to “Battlefield Earth”?

Travolta’s swings in quality aren’t merely the stuff of change, their almost willfully, deliberately schizophrenic. One almost gets the sense that there are two Travoltas, battling each other for supremacy.

Had he not made “Face/Off” already, and Van Damme not made “Double Impact” we’d suggest the Johns do a movie wherein the two rival Travolta’s fight to the death: One pushing for a remake of “Perfect” (wherein this time he would play the aerobics instructor, and Jamie Lee Curtis the reporter) and the other pushing him to do, say, anything else at all.