John Waters' mischievous satire of the teen exploitation genre is entertaining as a rude joyride through another era, full of great clothes and hairdos.
John Waters’ mischievous satire of the teen exploitation genre is entertaining as a rude joyride through another era, full of great clothes and hairdos.
Set on Waters’ Baltimore turf, Cry-Baby returns to the nascent days of rock ‘n’ roll when teens were king, where the cleancut ‘squares’ are pitted against the hoodlum ‘drapes’. Cry-Baby (Johnny Depp), a handsome delinquent with a perpetual tear in his eye (in memory of his criminal parents who died in the electric chair), takes the bait from a pony-tailed blonde from the well-bred set (Amy Locane).
Once it’s clear the plot is just a raucous rebel without a cause with a handful of inspired elements clipped to a wornout Romeo and Juliet storyline, a lot of the foolery begins to wear thin. There’s so much commotion in the pic, with its 11 full-fledged dance numbers and elaborate production values, that one can’t help but catch on that a story’s missing.
Depp is great as the delinquent juve, delivering the melodramatic lines with straight-faced conviction and putting some Elvis-like snap and wiggle into his moves.