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Cry-Baby


By Lee Gardner | Posted 6/24/2009

Writer/director John Waters followed up the original Hairspray with another trip back to the Baltimore of yore. For 1990's Cry-Baby, 1950s clashes between goody-goody middle-class teen "squares" and gritty blue-collar rockabilly "drapes" take the place of '60s racial tensions, with less vital and emotional results. But it certainly helps that Waters landed Johnny Depp, fleeing teen-idol stardom, for the role of head drape Cry-Baby Walker. Depp's charisma and characteristic blithe conviction helps give these good-natured class shenanigans some heft, while goody-goody love interest Amy Locane (the spitting image of Polly Bergen, cast as her mom) proves another one of those Waters ingénues who turn in a game performance only to never be heard from again. The Fellini-like outsized cast of outsized personalities (including Susan Tyrrell, Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, and Kim McGuire as the aptly named Hatchet-Face) is a lot of fun, as are the vintage Bawdamoor references.

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