I recently finished reading John Waters’ latest book Carsick, detailing his experiences hitchhiking across the US. It was difficult to finish even one page of the book without laughing, and it reminded me of what a brilliant comic mind this man has. To that end, I’m featuring one of my favorite John Waters films this week, Cry-Baby (DVD/Download).
Cry-Baby is a spoof of 1950’s greaser movies, wherein the “Drapes” face off against the “Squares”. Johnny Depp plays Cry-Baby Walker, the hot young leader of the Drapes, who falls for Allison Vernon-Williams, a good girl yearning to be bad. In a great meet-cute scene, they lock eyes over polio vaccinations in the school gym. Imagine! People got immunized and it was no big deal! (I digress). Cry-Baby is populated by B-and C-list stars galore- Traci Lords! Patty Hearst! Troy Donahue! Iggy Pop! Ricki Lake!
Johnny Depp reportedly took the role of Cry-Baby (one of his first film roles following 21 Jump Street) in order to poke fun at his teen-idol image. Well, mission accomplished. As Cry-Baby he’s sexy and funny and just the right amount of campy. It’s so refreshing to see him without weird facial hair or feathers or a Colleen Atwood costume. Watching Cry-Baby has reminded me that not only do I want John Waters to make another film, but I want Johnny Depp to be in it playing an actual human being. A stretch at this point, I know.
My drink this week has to be equal parts hillbilly and 50’s fabulous in order to truly do the film justice. I’m sure Uncle Belvedere makes his own moonshine, but I have to get by with the store-bought stuff. Of course this has to be served in a mason jar (which I assume was the stemware-of-choice at Turkey Point). While watching Cry-Baby, I recommend drinking a Lonely Teardrop.
½ oz Vodka
½ oz Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz Limoncello
2 oz Sprite
3 oz club soda
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Mix together the spirits and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a mason jar filled with ice. Top with Sprite and club soda. Garnish with rosemary and lemon.
Not only does Cry-Baby have a fantastic cast and script, but the costumes are stellar as well. I admit to having quite a few “square” dresses currently hanging in my closet (thanks Mod Cloth!). But when Allison Vernon-Williams puts on those tight “hysterectomy pants” and makes out with Cry-Baby, I find myself wanting my own bad-girl beauty makeover. Just please don’t let Hatchet Face do my make-up. There are…. no words to describe that face. Cheers!