23 September 2013


Cry-Baby 1990
  • Director: John Waters
  • Based on book: No
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell, Polly Bergen, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire, Troy Donague, Patricia Hearst, David Nelson, Willem Dafoe
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Johnny Depp  Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Slow Burn, Edward Scissorhands, Arizona Dream, Benny and Joon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco, Dead Man, Nick of Time, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Ninth Gate, The Astronaut’s Wife, Sleepy Hollow, The Man Who Cried, Chocolat, Blow, From Hell, Lost in La Mancha, Pirates of the Caribbean (all four of them), Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Secret Window, Finding Neverland, Libertine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist
    • Amy Locane – only this
    • Susan Tyrrell  – I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Bonanza
    • Polly Bergen – old TV series
    • Iggy Pop – The Crow, Sid and Nancy but obviously I know him more as a rock musician
    • Ricki Lake  – Working Girl, Hairspray
    • Traci Lords – only this
    • Kim McGuire – only this
    • Troy Donahue – old TV series
    • Patricia Hearst- newspaper and TV news
    • David Nelson -  The Ozzie and Harriet Show, The Big Circus
    • Willem Dafoe – Platoon, Spiderman, Mr. Bean’s Holiday, Paris je t’aime, American Dreamz,  Manderlay, The Aviator, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, eXistenZ, Lulu on the Bridge, The English Patient, Wild at Heart, Cry Baby, Born on the Fourth of July, Mississippi Is Burning, The Last Temptation of Christ, Dear America, Streets of Fire
  • Why? Johnny Depp. Fourth movie of JD marathon.
  • Seen: Twice. First time May 2011.  Now: September 14, 2013

      Where does one start with a film like this? One is simply overwhelmed from start to finish with the vulgar, the absurd, the crass, the ridiculous.
And it’s done to perfection.
This time the first credit is “starring Johnny Depp”. It took him six years. This time JD is a JD. Johnny Depp = Juvenile Delinquent. We all love to love the bad boy with a heart of gold and oh, Johnny is soooo appealing here.  But so silly. You’d think that watching Johnny Depp slowly, carefully, sensuously demonstrating French kissing to innocent Alison with his flicking passionate tongue would turn one a-quiver with desire but it turns me a-quiver with laughter.
As does Inga from Sweden with the ultra-intellectual “Ja?” “Ja?” “Ja?”  That and the white thingy on her head…Swedish? How proud I feel that the world sees us Swedes so realistically!
No, this is not intellectual. It’s not realistic.  Except we really did hide under tables when the air raid drills sounded to warn us of atomic attack. We really did have frantically religious parents (not me, but some of my classmates), and juvenile delinquents really were sent to reform school.  My bad boy wasn’t quite Johnny Depp but his name was Mike and he had black curly hair and he was so-o-o bad. He came to our one and only date with his lovely black hair dyed red.  This was the 60’s not the 50’s but the principles were still the same.
 This movie is so weird. The 50’s were so weird. The music is outstanding. Too bad Johnny doesn’t do his own singing. He could. He does his own dancing, though he can’t dance (so he says).  Iggy Pop can definitely dance. The whole cast is perfect.  Patricia Hearst?! The Patricia Hearst?! David Nelson, the cutie brother of cutie Ricky Nelson?! Willem Dafoe?! Well it’s not so hard to see him as a prison guard but still.
I watch the entire film with an incredulous grin on my face.  It’s just so bad that it’s good.
And that’s the whole point.

4  * of 5

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