15 June 2012

TSC Spotlight On: Gorgeous Grandmas

For this post, instead of discussing a fashion/costuming trend I think is interesting, I'm instead going to be talking about two interesting characters: these fine (grand)mamas.

It will probably be no surprise to anyone, I think, that one of my favorite Cry-Baby characters is Ramona Ricketts, Cry-Baby and Pepper's wild grandmother, auto parts fence, proprietress of Turkey Point, Iggy Pop's movie wife(!), and all-'round rockabilly elder. She's got a brilliant attitude and zany outlook, not to mention brilliant dress sense:

I can't tell you how big an effort it was to convince myself I would get next to no use out of my very own hunting decoy cap,

especially as a person who has been known to wear both of these in public:

Ramona is wild, and fierce, and I love her. But what might come as more of a surprise is that characterwise, one of the women that surpasses her in my estimation is her square counterpart: Allison's grandmother, Mrs. Vernon-Williams, remarkable on account not of her style, particularly, but of her spirit.

Mrs. Vernon-Williams might share Ramona's love for extravagant headgear,

but as the film begins they've got little else in common. Mrs. V-W is the square to end all squares, a grand lady, head of the charm school--she forbids Allison from speaking to Cry-Baby, "can hardly imagine what [the drapes] consider music," and delivers an alarmist speech to the charm school talent show audience about the dangers of juvenile delinquents that concludes in some truly absurd advice ("I want you to silently repeat to yourself the four B's...beauty, brains, breeding, bounty!")

Slowly, though, emboldened by her discovery that "the Walker boy...is at least polite," she comes to a new understanding of the goods and bads of the teenage social scene and the world beyond, eventually urging her granddaughter to "choose the man who loves [her] the most"--Cry-Baby--over the mean but square and reliable Baldwin, who attempts to woo Allison with the pitch, "we'll get married, and live in suburbia!"

Many characters in this film undergo a reversal of fortune, what with the drapes' eventual triumph over the formerly dominant squares, but Mrs. Vernon-Williams far outstrips everyone else with the degree to which she undergoes personal, character-built change. Over the course of the movie she truly changes her opinions and her outlook in a way the other characters don't. She genuinely becomes more tolerant, accepting and pleasant as she goes...

...and THAT'S why I love her.

'Sides, no one can say she isn't any fun:

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen this film! I really should watch it, the characters sound amazing.
    (Are you SURE you wouldn't wear one of those crazy hats?!)