In this director's cut, set against the same mythical background as Hairspray (Baltimore, a little earlier though: 1953), we get to observe worlds in collision, in school, at the party, in court... in prison.
These John Waters style Juvenile Delinquents are more Nashville in flavor than the ones in West Side Story (Baltimore is further south after all). The Squares are east coast preppies, descendants of teacuppy Victorians (note Alice in Wonderland allusions).
The generational divide between these teens and their parents is in the foreground throughout. The older Squares just never seem to get it about their sometimes Drape offspring and all that youthful, cross-cultural Jahiliyyah.
I loved the Traci Lords character, Wanda (a Drape), her Square mom played by none other than Patricia Hearst (aka Patti Hearst). Also fun seeing Willem Dafoe, a favorite from eXistenZ. No drag queen in this one.
I could see assigning this in some college psych-anthro course, like the one I took at Princeton (Imee Marcos a classmate) reading Clifford Geertz and such.
A lovely film, explains a lot.