Review: Cry-Baby (1990)

Lorna Webb's film review of Cry-Baby. The film was released in 1990 and is directed by John Waters

Directed by John Waters, Cry-Baby is musical, camp and comical. It is an entertaining American musical that appeases and humours its audience.

Cry Baby is a resplendent film and entertains throughout. A parody of America’s musical romances and directed by John Waters, the film is familiar in style as it blends 1950’s nostalgia with comedy, romance and music.

Teenage delinquent Cry Baby (Johnny Depp) is a trouble maker. Labelled as a drape, parents fear him, females are almost instantly attracted to him and squares despise him. Cry Baby soon falls for square Alison Vernon-Williams (Amy Locane), and their forbidden attraction to each other creates a teenage rebellion from both the squares and the drapes.

Born in 1946, director John Waters is a multi-talented man. A film-maker, comedian and journalist, Waters has never been far from the lime light. Born in Baltimore US, Waters has used his birthplace as the location in many of his films, adding a personal touch to his work as a director. He has previously directed >em>Serial Mom(1994), a black comedy that tells the story of a serial killer mother.

Waters, usually a riotous director, has instead created a traditional film here. The film follows a generic storyline of good girl falls for bad boy. Waters is persistent with his themes throughout this musical triumph and the buoyant script and the 60’s rock and roll music are a convivial and quirky step back in time for any generation.

Johnny Depp, a stupendous Hollywood actor, plays the role of Cry Baby consummately; with a white T-shit and black leather jacket he fulfils the role, creating a perverse but loveable character that can be watched repeatedly.

Cry Baby is a ruthless rebel with a heart of gold. After his parents were sentenced to death in the electric chair, he rebels against society and drives too fast, talks back and is disruptive to the community; a familiar rebellious nature that can be found in many teenage delinquent characters, in films such as Rebel Without a Cause, Heavenly Kid and Grease. As Alison fights for Cry Baby’s freedom, his love for her grows stronger and stronger.

The movie soundtrack sums up the rock and roll era. The song performances make the whole experience delectable and nostalgic; however the film is not to be taken seriously. Waters isn’t making a song and dance out of Cry Baby. The film is simple, enjoyable and fun.

If you’re having a bad day, or feeling forlorn, Cry Baby is the film to watch. You may find yourself smiling and tapping your feet within the first few minutes of the opening sequence, it will certainly lift your mood.

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