The youngsters in "Cry-Baby" are divided into two categories: the "drapes" (the cool kids), and the "squares" (the Jan Bradys). The film is a "Romeo and Juliet"-type love story between a drape and a square, Cry-Baby Walker (Johnny Depp) and Allison Vernon-Williams (Amy Locane), respectively.
There are songs. There are choreographed dances. There is red lipstick and fast- cars. But this is a John Waters movie; you get all of that, yes, but you also get former porn stars (Traci Lords), former kidnapping victims (Patty Hearst), and a badly gussied up "girl" who goes by the name of Hatchet-Face (Kim McGuire).
And I loved every minute of it. "Cry-Baby" is like the play your friend drags you to, promising it will be fantastic. Your doubts are stronger than your legs and your eye-rolls are armed and dangerous. But the second you let your guard down, it consumes you.
The film mixes the cheek-to-cheek teen movie cheesiness of the 1950s and 60s with an array of sharp one-liners and exaggerated stereotypes. Sure, John Waters is famously the king of bad taste, but nothing he's ever made has felt this deliriously awesome.
The casting of Johnny Depp is wondrous; featuring the actor before he became Ed Wood or Captain Jack Sparrow, he's a caricatured knockout as Cry-Baby Walker. Filmed at the height of his teen heartthrob fame from "21 Jump Street," it's a risky move that surely pays off. He spurts out so many single-tears and so many godforsaken smolders that it combines his eccentricity with his commercial appeal. It's a prelude, you might say, for his long and unpredictable career.
"Cry-Baby" has "cult film" written all over it; for the drapes, it's immensely quotable and delightfully tongue-in-cheek. For the squares, it's a bizarre encounter. I'd like to think of myself as a drape the majority of the time, and maybe the fact that I think "Cry-Baby" is such a camp masterpiece confirms it.
There are the movies you love because they're artistically memorable. There are the movies you love because they bring back cherished memories. But then, there are the movies that are the equivalent of the first hour of Disneyland, a night out with friends. "Cry-Baby" is not high-art nor is it in the same ballpark as ... anything. It's one of those movies you tell all of your friends about, and then, on a boring Sunday afternoon, watch again.
It was the whole two guys liking the same girl scenario between the higher classed Squares and the delinquent Drapes. It was also the whole good girl turning bad. As a musical it featured some fun songs and overall this kind of movie was more poking fun at the singing movies. It was definitely edgier and the director took the liberty to add some crazy humor and crazy little effects here and there to make it his own.
I would probably see this one more time as it is enjoyable seeing Johnny Depp as an Elvis Singer. But it's not as endearing or what I prefer like Grease and Hairspray.