Jan 29, 2009


Cry-Baby is the undeniable mainstream cult success of John Waters' career. Although Pink Flamingos is more known to the midnight movie crowd, Cry-Baby steals the limelight with Johnny Depp and mock-Grease antics. John Waters might be attempting to parody "high school musicals" but his film ends up in the ditch prematurely after the defining points are far too few and the plot never elevates properly to be diagnosed as a structured film.

Angst has never reached such a low point. The moment a tear streams down Depp's baby face is the day I cried for the woes of being a "normal" departure for Waters. Having seen Hairspray (Original), I decided that Waters is also a competent director for films that aren't lurid escapades of sexual delinquents. Even though Cry-Baby is Waters' first major studio production, the cult success allows me to see past the brainless entertainment and romance inserts to spot a form of amateurism evident mainly by the lack of a finale or proper build-up.

The 50s fashion of rockabilly is transferred impeccably thanks to the keen eye of John Waters. He always did have a way with "period pieces" and the costume department. For a musical, this film is potentially stale. Of the song numbers, only few turn out to be catchy. The rest mainly exist to piece together the story by implementing plot devices and personality traits. If the songs were to be removed, much of the characters would never be explored but the film would have a smoother transition from film to music. A clashing of art mediums should be both entertaining and memorable. Cry-Baby is definitely entertaining but lacks in memorability save for Traci Lords.

Cry-Baby mainly stays fashionably afloat thanks to the soundtrack, Depp's fan phenomenon, and sheep to the herd. During many of the scenes, I found myself shouting "OH COME ON!" while rolling my eyes. This strenuous activity did spare my eyes from a majority of shameful scenes of girls doing double back flips into the arms of Johnny Depp for a quickly thought up ending. Cry-Baby isn't anything special, least not for me to continue expressing my thorough distaste for this film. I'll just say that I did not like Cry-Baby and leave it at that. Also, John Waters has a natural talent for finding ogreish looking people. This review is dedicated to Hatchet-Face and not the obese Ricki Lake. Suck it up.


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