review for Cry-Baby on AllMovie

Cry-Baby (1990)
by Karl Williams review

If the word "mainstream" can even be used in the same sentence with his name, then this slyly funny, high-camp comedy from director John Waters is the Baltimore filmmaker's most mainstream cinematic effort. A zippy film performed with ardor by a talented cast, it's both a spoof of and an homage to the juvenile delinquent dramas of the 1950s that Waters clearly loves. While high on kitsch value and irony, Cry-Baby fails to keep the laughs coming or develop characters sufficiently, so that its energy flags by the conclusion. Waters and the type of film he's gently mocking are acquired tastes, but those with a predilection for both will be delighted by Cry-Baby.