Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Circle of life

To complete the circle of life, I took myself to see "Juno" this afternoon. Once more, expectations were low -- it's been compared to "Little Miss Sunshine," which Art Boy and I roundly loathed, and Slate is already doing articles about the Juno backlash. But the cast is just so fab, and Art Boy recently learned that Ellen Page was in the first season of "Trailer Park Boys," and Kelly loved it. So I took advantage of a cloudy day off and went, figuring now was the time in case that backlash thing gets any worse.

Well, it is quite nice. Pretty much all I can say about it is to compare it favorably to LMS: the characters are developed, not overly precious, and the story gives everyone the space to change and be complicated. It's always the characters in charge of the story, not the other way around, so it really works. I don't know that it is the Best Picture of the Year, but really, more people should be making movies like this. And I am in favor of anything that involves a dump truck full of money pulling up to Michael Cera's door. (Imagine him answering the doorbell and being all bashful. Aww!)

Yeah, there is Rainn Wilson at the beginning saying things like "homeskillet," and the hamburger phone gave me a moment of terror that this was going to be Napoleon Dynamite. (Although I remain fond of Napoleon Dynamite.) But it gets better. Kelly is correct that the worst moment is a character saying "Honest to blog?" but it's gotten out of the way quickly. I was reminded of Molly Ringwald getting on the bus in "Sixteen Candles" and going "I loathe the bus": it's just a new generation of largely invented teenspeak. I was going to focus this post on that, but discovered that screenwriter Diablo Cody's phrasings have already been examined and analyzed. It's nice to see the teen movie successfully moving forward. In your face, YouTube!


Kelly said...

I'm so glad you didn't hate it! Yes, for as much as I had heard that the dialogue was overwrought and precious, it didn't really bother me. Rainn Wilson's character is unbelievably awkward, but he's gone within 10 minutes; I had actually forgotten about him when I wrote my review, because he had been overshadowed by how much I loved the rest of the film.

So did '80s teens not say "loathe"? I wasn't a teenager in the '80s, so I didn't know.

AE said...

They may have said "loathe" at some point. The line just sounded so flat and made-up.

Rainn Wilson's entire scene is incredibly awkward. I was like "quit waving that urine-soaked pregnancy test around the convenience store! gross gross!"

Eileen said...

Have you seen "Hard Candy?" I watched it last year and just now found out that Ellen Page was in that, too. Let me make it clear - it's NOTHING like Juno but I still think you'd like it.

What helped Juno for me was the scene where she starts crying and has to pull over the minivan. It was the first time I felt that we got to see past this wall of teenage coolness that she'd built up around herself.