A superb showcase for Divine, Female Trouble is John Waters at his most abrasive and funny. In comparison with many films of this period, it is surprising how little it has dated, indeed much of it is prescient of certain social trends that have become more apparent since: the celebrity culture, getting attention at all costs, vulgarity run rampant. But the tone is not simply critical, as it relishes much of what it shows as it parodies it; it is about the anarchic power of trash and bad taste. Several of the secondary characters are brilliant in this regard - Aunt Ida (Edith Massey) in her fetish gear looking quite grotesque, but what a wonderful performance it is! And a neat inversion of conventional morality when she says she doesn't want her son Gater to be in the boring twilight world of the heterosexual, and sets him up with gay dates, when he is totally straight. He immediately falls into the arms of Dawn Davenport, who would be more than anyone could handle. It seems he finds her completely irresistible, although the effect wears off after about two minutes of screen time. Described at one point as particularly cheap in a transparent chiffon number in bright, voluminous orange (featured on the box), Dawn is a one-off with her big hair, overdone make-up and dulcet tones that easily become fierce, but always veiled, at least until she becomes completely unhinged. Her look likewise gets more and more extreme, particularly after she gets badly disfigured. The parody of the `caring mother' is scabrously funny and in very bad taste as she tells her daughter she is simply a `retarded brat', and there are moments of genuine shock. However this is all part of the effect; you are made to react in all kinds of ways, and have your sensibilities assaulted - Divine shaking it up and shooting up in all senses. The fact that it retains its power to outrage the viewer is salutary, I think, suggesting that all is not lost!