Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Juno You Want To, But Really, Junon't

The much-buzzed Juno got the royal treatment as the Gala Centerpiece at AFI's Filmfest last night. We're talking the Cinemarama Dome (it's kinda like Epcot) with special guests Jason Reitman, Jason Bateman, JK Simmons, Diablo Cody, and Ellen Page in attendance. Granted, only the director spoke, but I could have reached out and pricked my finger a la Sleeping Beauty on Bateman's spiky hair had I been so inclined.

But let's get down to the film. I'm expecting it's going to do well because, we all want to like it. The guy who directed the excellent Thank You For Smoking is behind it, and Diablo is a stripper-turned-blogger-turned-memoirist-turned-screenwriter. Also, her name is half-rodeo, half-Tarantino (why hasn't Tarantino done a Wild West movie -- shit, I'd see that). And the cast. Oh, the cast. You wanna love it, love it, love it.

And it's not hard to do, if you tell yourself, there's nothing wrong with a movie that's a string of one-liners, where the 16 year-old main character's dialogue is an unholy blend of a current 21st century teenager and a hyperarticulate 29 year-old who remembers everything about the 80s and likes Iggy and the Stooges. I don't know anyone under 20 who knows who they are. A kid doesn't end a word in "-izzle" and then reference Thundercats. It's an abomination!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can't not hear Diablo mouthing off through all the characters. And while it's all very witty, clever, funny, and what-have-you, there's just something that's not quite right. Seriously, Rome Film Festival, did you not notice this freakiness? Or is it only something Americans are going to find troubling?
Or just me.

On another note, Jason Bateman's great, even if the basis of his relationship with Ellen page's character is simply absurd. Not that the relationship couldn't happen. It's just based on this Freakazoid world of completely inexplicable, incongruous character development.

Whatev. I'm not convinced Diablo is all that and a bag of chips. But she's got money and uber-success, and I'm like the Honda PUYO concept car - I got no edge, man. So in a fair fight, I'd be punctured by her stiletto sharp public persona. In other words it's probably best not to listen to me.


ADT said...

I thought Juno was amazing. Ellen Page's character was very true to how some teenagers really act. I'm eighteen and I actually love Iggy & The Stooges. Maybe you didn't understand that her character was supposed to be off beat. Not just a clone of their friends like everyone else.

Little Miss Nomad said...

I'm glad you liked the movie and that you're a fan of Iggy Pop. I'm not saying it's impossible among high school students to find someone who listens to music from that era. It's very possible. But no one treated Juno like she was unusual. Of course, she talks like that. Heck, everyone is cracking one-liners like they're 29. It's smarter than Dawson's Creek, sure, but to me, it was just about as believable.
Also "off-beat" has a hyphen.

In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen