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There seem to be two types of folks who detest "Cry-Baby;" those who
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
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.
This is a film that John Waters created as a loving send up of 1950's teen
and juvenile delinquent films. It tells the story of Cry-Baby (Depp) a
teenage orphan with the ability to make women swoon by shedding a single
tear. It's a good natured, never mean musical based in a world where a song
can make jail prisoners dance and riot or make someone fall in love with you
despite being from different worlds.
A cast that includes Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, Waters regular Rikki Lake and a few other pleasant treats and cameos. The actors appear to be having as much fun with the subject matter as the film is. Borrowing for value from films such as Grease, Jail-house Rock, High School Hellcats, Rebel without a cause and a zillion others from the genre this film is a self-aware campy comedy that is very well crafted.
Clean and ridiculous warmhearted fun with more than a hint of trash. As of the date I re-watched this film (April 2004 10 years later) this film is still out of print. The reason for that is inexplicable to me as it's one of Johnny Depp's funniest performances and one of the better musicals that comes to mind. Oh yeah, don't blink or you'll miss Willem Defoe as the prison guard. "God bless Dwight D. Eisenhower, God bless Roy Cohn..."
Come for the comedy, stay for the great songs.
If you're a fan of the rockabilly fashion of the 50's and of John Waters,
you will like this movie. Personally, I was a big fan of it. It's one of my
This movie involves two groups: the "squares" and the "greasers". While most teen movies set in the 50's involve typical preppy high school students, this one was on the side of the greasers. This is what I found fun and interesting. The world in which the greasers live is fun and colorful. The characters are all social outcasts or "delinquents" as they call them in the movie. This is what is so particular. Maybe this isn't what life in the 50's was really about, but it gives the illusions that you're seeing an aspect of life during that time that you normally don't see.
It was a pleasant and fun to watch movie. It was also very cartoony, which is something I like in a movie very much. The imagery is very pleasant. However, it's not a movie for everyone. It can easily be seen as cheesy. And if you're expecting a typical 50's musical like Grease, there's a good chance you won't like this one, since it makes you root so much for the social outcasts. This movie doesn't show the typical "clean" 50's that people enjoy so much.
This movie also makes fun of the typical "bad boy" image of the 50's. But doesn't it also poke fun at the image that Johnny Depp had at the time? In several interviews done after the release of this movie, Depp mentioned that he enjoyed playing that role because it was a satire of the image he had and that he also disliked very much.
I think this is the type of movie that can easily become someone's favorite but that can be hated by a lot of viewers. Maybe the dancing and the singing isn't as good as in Grease. But you have to remember that this is a light and fun movie that doesn't take itself seriously. It can also be seen as a satire of typical musicals. I would definitely recommend it.
I admit, on first hearing about this film even I (the major Johnny Depp fan) was a bit skeptical to view it. But, I figured, hey, it's JD, why not? And, I now must say, that is goes down as one of my favorite movies. Why? because it's an amazing spoof my John Waters. As a lover of old musicals from the 50s and 60s, it's just amusing to watch a spoof of them, especially one done so well as this. My fav scene (don't worry..no spoilers..) is one where Crybaby (JD) performs a song in a comedic Elvis Presley fashion, which shows how dynamic JD is as an actor. what else makes this movie great? The music. There's not one boring song where you feel like it'll never end, because you don't want it to end. (yes, i own the soundtrack..i'm pathetic, i know). It's just a great movie..well, if you like a musical that spoofs other musicals.
The movie "Cry Baby" is about a young boy and girl from opposite sides
of the track falling in love. Wade "Cry baby" Walker (Johnny Depp) is
considered a drape and a juvenile delinquent, and Alison (Amy Locane)
is considered a square and a perfect angel. In their time Drapes and
Squares were not seen together. Cry Baby fights with all his heart
going up against an ex-boyfriend, a concerned grandmother, and even
jail to keep his love with Alison.
Baldwin (Stephen Mailer), Alison's ex-boyfriend, does everything in his power to keep Alison to himself and away from Cry Baby. He picks fights and gets his gang together to vandalize the drapes property.
Alison's grandma (Polly Bergen) is like the leader of the squares and in the beginning worries that Cry Baby will be the downfall of her grandchild. Since she is left with Alison's care, she is over protective; but she wants Alison happy more than anything. In the end she comes around and tells Alison to choose the man her heart loves.
I believe director John Waters made a new twist to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and this provides a happy ending. Through his movie, Waters tells us that love happens when it happens and that no matter what background we come from, we should fight for love with all our hearts.
I love this movie. The first time I saw this movie as a four year old girl, I said I was going to marry Cry Baby. I recommend this movie to everyone. It has action for men and romance for women. I think that it transports us back in time and helps us see the conferences of the two social classes and feeds our belief that love really can conquer it all. I have probably watched this movie a thousand times and will probably watch it a thousand more. It definitely is worth the eighty-five minutes it takes to watch.
There's really nothing wrong with this film. It's funny, it's fun, and it's got a cameo of Willem Dafoe. With Johnny Depp as the star, what else could you want? Apart from being a satire, it's an entertaining and hysterical, relatable satire. It takes a lot of skill to take a concept that could so easily teeter from funny to ridiculous, and while certain parts of the film seem to be heading towards that thin barrier, they always save face at the last minute. The movie doesn't just ride on Johnny Depp's talent, either. Every member of the cast displays a genuine understanding of the somewhat SNL-esque humour required to make everything work. I've yet to meet someone face to face that has not seen this movie and truly enjoyed it for what it is: something wonderful.
Don't expect to watch a movie in the style of "Grease" when you watch "Cry-Baby." This is a John Waters musical-comedy, and it's full of his style and humor. John Waters has his own style of directing, and his own style for writing dialogue. The dialogue and acting are usually out of the mainstream norm, and viewers who are not familiar with John Waters may not enjoy his films unless they open their minds to possibilities of silly, ridiculous, vulgar, and campy humor. "Cry-Baby" is set in the 1950's, and it's mainly about two groups of people who don't accept each other: The drapes and the squares. The drapes don't have a lot of money, are more accepting to different types of people, and listen to the hep sounds of rhythm and blues and rockabilly. Some of them get involved with crime, and are juvenile delinquents. The squares are very conservative, have more money, more attitude, and listen to "your hit parade" music. The drapes will hang out with anyone as long as there's a good time to be had, and the squares only socialize with other squares. There is friction and disgust whenever the two types meet. Within this is a love story concerning Cry-Baby and Allison. Cry-Baby is a drape, and Allison is a square tired of being so conservative. Cry-Baby and Allison are attracted to each other, and Allison decides to associate with the drapes. Conflicts emerge, and drapes and squares clash. That sounds clichéd, but the movie has a lot of humor and atmosphere. It's also full of color, spirit, and fun music. The locations and sets create a 1950's atmosphere of small town and rural America. The cars, clothing, and hairstyles are also effective. Sometimes clothes, hairstyles, props, and sets are exaggerated and outrageous, but these are trademarks of John Waters' style and sense of humor. "Cry-Baby" has its charm, and is effective as both a comedy and a musical. The musical numbers are fun and lively, and a lot of care went into making the songs sound authentic to the period. They are also well choreographed. Some of the musical numbers were written for the movie, and a few songs were originally 1950's hits newly recorded for "Cry-Baby" (such as the song that opens the movie, Allison singing "Teenage Prayer," etc.) There are also original vintage recordings throughout the movie (my favorite is "Jungle Drums," by Earl Bostic, which really gives a summer feeling to the Turkey Point location.) The background score is also well done, and professionally orchestrated. This is a John Waters film, and you have to expect unusual characters, and unusual acting and dialogue delivery. The casting of the movie is an interesting mix of performers (another Waters' trademark), and very much a delight. The cast is terrific! Johnny Depp and Amy Locane are wonderful as the teenagers who are attracted to each other, but live in different worlds. Their pairing brings out a believable chemistry, and a sense of fun. Polly Bergen's performance is excellent as the extremely conservative matriarch who finally learns how to have a good time with people who are different. Susan Tyrrell is as offbeat as she can be (see her in the bizarre musical-comedy "Forbidden Zone"), and Iggy Pop is interesting in his role. Ricki Lake returns in her second John Waters movie as Cry-Baby's pregnant sister. Kim McGuire, Darren E. Burrows, and Traci Lords create fun characters who are in Cry-Baby's gang and music group. Kim McGuire has a knack for creating a character who's kookie and bold, and yet deserves sympathy at times. Traci Lords is very good at comedy, and it would be nice to see her in more comedies. She does a great job with her mostly-cranky, tough-girl character. Stephen Mailer does a fine job of creating a character you really learn to loathe. "Cry-Baby" also features small parts played by noted stars such as Troy Donahue, Joe Dallesandro, Joey Heatherton, David Nelson, Willem Dafoe, and John Waters regular Mink Stole. Patricia Hearst Makes her feature film debut, and is very amusing as the naive mother of a drape daughter. "Cry-Baby" was a lot of fun to watch on the big screen, and I'm again enjoying it since it's been released on DVD (with added scenes that were cut for its theatrical release.) "Cry-Baby" is a snazzy and fun musical-comedy that seems to be pleasing people who are not regular John Waters fans! By the way, I was a scrape (part square, part drape) in high school, but that's a different story from a different era.
I first saw this movie on TV and then just HAD to get it on video. It's a brilliant send-up of the Grease story and Johnny Depp is perfectly cast in the James Dean-type role as a juvinile dilinquent who falls for a square. It's very funny and all the songs are great! Turn up the volume especially on 'Cry Baby'!
John Waters' movies are perhaps acquired taste (read: first class TRASH!), but "Cry-Baby" is a fairly accessible and comical romp, complete with great music, very likable performances and a moody 50's atmosphere. Obviously mocking "Grease", the story is set in a Baltimore high school where teen idol Johnny Depp leads the "Drapes" thug gang versus the chic and fancy "Squares". The hormones work at maximum power and Depp's character inevitably falls for the most popular square-girl in school. Arguments like these can only be settled with rough fights and dance contests! Johnny Depp and Amy Locane are both great in their lead roles, but it's the supportive cast that impresses the most. More particularly ex-porn star Traci Lords, Kim McGuire as Hatchet-Face (you can't but stare at her grimaces), Iggy Pop and Ricky Lake (as Depp's wild sister in a constant state of pregnancy). The gags are more tasteful than usual but all John Waters' trademarks are still present. "Cry-Baby" is a strangely sexy film that'll definitely bring a smile on your face. Recommended!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Following the mainstream success of 1988's HAIRSPRAY -- now a Broadway
and nation-wide smash hit -- John Waters returned to give us CRY BABY,
a movie which spoofs movies such as REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and JAILHOUSE
ROCK with his trademark quirks and a great cast. In this story, set in
1954 Baltimore right at the cusp of rock 'n roll, the squares, preppy
college types, are set against the drapes, who are more aggressive
edgy, a threat to good mores and values. In a typical Romeo and Juliet
setting, do-good Allison (Amy Locane) feels attracted to bad boy Wade
"Cry-Baby" Walker who carries a perpetual tear sliding down his face
due to the execution of his parents. This of course infuriates her
stern grandmother, Mrs. Vernon-Williams, who would rather she marry
equally do-gooder Baldwin (Stephen Mailer), who is so milquetoast he
might as well be invisible to Allison, but who isn't above a few tricks
of his own to prove the drapes wrong. At the same time, there is
another girl, Lenora Frigid, who is also in love with Cry-Baby and will
go to lurid lengths to make him his.
Lovingly nostalgic with splashes of cartoonish satire, Waters in his usual fashion explores the values of the misfits and the casual hypocrisies of those considered elite and creates a energetic musical film in a time when musicals were all but dead. That he also manages to accommodate enough screen time for his wide cast which includes figures such as Susan Tyrell, Polly Bergen, Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, Rikki Lake, Willem Dafoe, among others, is quite a feat considering its rather short length shows he knows his material and knows how much he has to give his characters so his story can maintain its frenzied pace. It's one of his best which recreates a time when values were still a lot less complicated than they are now, but which mirror us today and our own views on who's in and out in our own society and how little has really changed then and now.
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