The spirit of Christmas is, in fact, no departure from [John Waters'] usual fare. Take his most recent feature, 2004's A Dirty Shame, which got slapped with an NC-17 by the prigs at the MPAA. The film is about a group of sex addicts, led by a mystical "sexual healer," that overtakes a working-class neighborhood in Charm City.
As always, Waters is unwavering in his fundamental message: No matter how sick, twisted or downright creative your own personal perversion is, so long as nobody gets hurt (beyond the occasional truly royal case of indigestion), you have the right to exercise it freely and I have the right to find it fascinating, repulsive, ridiculous and/or delightful.
When such a theme is stated so baldly, certain words come to mind - words like "tolerance," "compassion," "vomit" and yes, "America." Down below the many layers of smut and slime, John Waters is the ultimate champion of the values we hold dear.
Most moral pundits pay lip service to the notion of loving your neighbor, preaching hatred and exclusion all the while. But Waters, God bless him, actually believes - however strange, however warped, however dysfunctional we may be - we are all family. And that, friends, is the True Meaning of Christmas.
-Glenn Dixon, Washington Post Express, 12/22/2005