The Velvet Café

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Archive for the ‘Cry-Baby’ Category

Baby Depp before he got stuck in a pirate costume

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I often get mixed feelings when I catch up with movies that the established stars of today made early in their careers.

Seeing how young they were once upon a time I’m painfully reminded about my own mortality. We’re all heading in the same direction, towards decay and eventually death. Noone escapes – not even famous actors.

At the same time I get a little bit warm at my heart. How young and innocent aren’t they? Oh, if they only knew what a bright future they would get.

When Johnny Depp turned up in Cry-Baby, recently screened at my local film club, I could barely recognize him. So different was his appearance compared to the character figure trotting around in a pirate costume that we’ve gotten used to. The sight was a bit saddening. After all those years, what has become of him? Jack Sparrow and nutsy Burton characters. Is that’s all there is to him, all that he wants to do?

I didn’t dwell long in those gloomy thoughts though, because Cry-Baby isn’t the kind of movie you dwell over. It’s a cheerful, sparkling, bubble-gum smelling musical with an upbeat rockabilly soundtrack that will raise your spirits and let you escape the drudgery of the real world, if only for an hour and a half.

It’s the first movie by John Waters I watch. From what I’ve learned he’s supposed to be some kind of master of “bad taste”, but I didn’t quite get that. Perhaps it’s the times that have changed. In 1990 his cartoonish art direction probably stuck out a bit. At this point we’ve seen this kind of esthetics in a number of movies, particularly those that are based on comic series.

As it was now I enjoyed the colorful costumes, the over-the-top characters and above all the song numbers that almost got me to stomp my feet and clap my hands. The only thing that stopped me from doing it was that I was in a theatre and I thought the other members of the film club might have found it somewhat annoying. So I behaved. I’m no Jack Sparrow after all.

Cry-Baby (John Waters, US 1990) My rating: 3,5/5

Written by Jessica

November 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Cry-Baby