Allison is a "square" good girl who has decided she wants to be bad and falls hard for Cry-Baby Walker, a Greaser (or "Drape" in John Waters parlance). Spoofing Elvis movies and Juvenile Delinquency scare films of the '50s, this movie follows the adventures of Cry-Baby who, though he is sent to juvie, is determined to cross class (and taste) boundaries to get Allison back. Written by
Linda (& Moo)
Silly, sweet fun. Don't take it seriously, just enjoy it
There seem to be two types of folks who detest "Cry-Baby;" those who think Waters sold out by making anything that cost more than $500 and didn't include coprophagy, and those who insist that all movies be Art with a capital A.
I was well into my 20's when the movie first came out, not a fan of 21 Jump Street, and no stranger to movies, including masterpieces and early John Waters, but I LOVED it, and have caught the uncut version on USA network quite a few times.
Cry-Baby is no Citizen Kane, and it's no Pink Flamingos, but, at risk of being pretentious, I will say that its full of something that makes art: Truth. Even in incredibly silly scenes, the movie is based in real and true emotions. John Waters' love for the fun parts of the 50's, (and hatred of the status quo that obviously made his teen years a living hell) is all over this film.
Yes, scenes such as the orphanage are silly, but the cynicism of the orphanage workers and the angst of the mother are as real as can be. The silliness works because the John Waters BELIEVES in what he is saying, and makes damn sure that his actors are with him!
All of the actors, from Johnny Depp who (as with all of his roles) *becomes* the character to Joe Dallesandro who barely can get his lines out, believe in their characters.
"Cry-Baby" parodies 50's "Teen Rebel" musicals such as "Rock Around the Clock" and "Don't Knock the Rock", but with obvious affection.
Yes, it's a musical. If you're one of those cynics who says things like "But people DON'T just start singing in real life" don't see it. Movies exist to give us a break from real life while mirroring it enough to be cathartic. Musicals and parodies take it one step further. They're not diaries, they're not reality, they're MOVIES!
"Cry-Baby" is a lot of fun, and the soundtrack is terrific (and "Hairspray"'s is even better!).
If you liked "Cry-Baby", I recommend "Hairspray" (not quite so silly, just as sweet.) and "But I'm A Cheerleader," which is definitely Waters-inspired, from its use of pink to its incredibly true emotions within very silly situations.
If you didn't like Cry-Baby, how sad. You obviously missed something.
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