Cry-Baby is definitely one of the better Fifties flashbacks, thanks to Waters' flair for visuals and a vivid memory of the Eisenhower era.
Reviewed by Mike Emery, Fri., Aug. 3, 2001
D: John Waters (1990); with Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire.
It's funny to think that this was one of Johnny Depp's first lead roles. While it didn't do very good business back in 1990, it's held up through the years. Depp plays Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker, a Fifties redneck complete with leather jacket and pompadour. He and his fellow "Drapes" (Waters' slang for hoods) enjoy dancing, drinking, singing, making out, and having fun. Enter Allison (Locane), a blond square who can't help but be seduced by the tough but teary-eyed Cry-Baby. Evil rich kids try to intervene, but not before everyone breaks into song and dance. Depp's a natural in this part, hamming it up during the performance numbers and pouting at all the right times. Locane is a terrible lip syncher, but does what she can. As a whole, Waters delivers the project with quick, punchy scenes, accentuated by strong colors and a vibrant soundtrack. It's definitely one of the better Fifties flashbacks, thanks to Waters' flair for visuals and a vivid memory of the Eisenhower era.