Holiday movie watching is not a tradition to be taken lightly. Non-binding clothing must be donned, a hot drink must be within arm's reach, and a cozy blanket must be tucked up against one's chin to foil any possibility of draught. In a perfect world, a fire would sizzle and pop in the fireplace, and inclement weather would rage against the window panes.
And Johnny Depp would be on my couch. Or at least in my DVD player. "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) is a heartwarming, quirky romantic comedy with a twist of fantasy. It's the story of an awkward, innocent misfit, and it's just the right choice for a wintery evening in.
My personal love affair with Johnny Depp began in 1990 when he played Edward Scissorhands. But I’m going to try to be objective in this review, really I am.
It begins as a kind of fairy tale, a grandmother tucking a child into bed while explaining the mysterious origins of snow. I would like to say the film is suitable for the whole family, but there is one seductress scene where the neighborhood hussy (Marge, delightfully played by Kathy Baker) tries to Mrs. Robinsonize young Edward in the back room of her beauty parlor, the innuendo of which would bump the film into the PG-13 category. (Hooray!)
Edward (Johnny Depp) is an awkward misfit boy, who has been created with scissory blades where his hands should be. He speaks only 169 words in the entire movie and looks at the world with wide wonder. He desperately wants to do the right thing; moving around gingerly so he doesn’t stab or slash anything. By the time Edward punctures the waterbed with an accidental poke, and then tries to fix the spouting water by covering it up with stuffed animals, he has won our hearts.
Edward Scissorhands is regarded by many critics to be the crazy-haired director Tim Burton’s finest film. No argument here. Burton calls it his favorite creation as well. It was his first project with the then 27-year-old Depp, the first of seven collaborations between the two.
The Burton/Depp relationship bears some discussion.