Tuesday, December 4, 2007

mea culpa/mini review: juno

heads up, i'm going on a trip next week, so expect travel tales. i've just had teet visiting, plus my life is empty, plus i've started waking up early (instead of staying up late and writing bullshit) and actually running on purpose and now i have a splinted shin and have to carry aleve in my tote. i had to pop 2 during juno because i couldn't cross my legs. aleve was my sister's "prescription." that's like going to a dentist who looks at your cavity and recommends a certs, but whatever. and also, ow.

juno was promoted in such a way that i dreaded seeing it, because i was convinced i would have a strong opinion about it, and that that opinion would probably be negative, and can't i just go see a movie for once where shit blows up and i'm amused enough for 2 hours and forget i even saw the movie a month later? i seriously yearn for this.

because juno is billed as a comedy, but also, for whatever reason, it's being promoted as, brace yourself, preciously quirky, at least in the preview-- hamburger phone, terry cloth head- and wristbands, drugstore clerk who says "homeskillet." jesus christ. when i see a movie where every character seems quirky or wise beyond their years, it just strikes me as lazy. one or two characters, ok, but if you want every character to speak in the same voice, your material is better suited for a one man show than for the screen.

plus, i worried juno was yet another movie that would be so visual-heavy as to be content-light (see: anderson, wes). and why is it that a woman writer can't get ahead without doing time showing her titties for money/material? or pretending to be a molested transsexual boy? or writing about shoes? jesus christ. again.

the pleasant surprise about juno tho, is that, while guilty of over-quirk in both the words and visuals, there are actual genuine emotions in there that give the characters more depth, give them life beyond their sweatbands and hamburger phones. juno speaks like a wisecracking sitcom character, but were you to prick her, she would not bleed catchphrases, but actual blood. this happens when characters have a real story to tell (see: not anderson, wes). and while the story is one sonic youth reference away from a lifetime movie, the characters pick up the slack.

[also, sidenote, the moldy peaches/kimya dawson are all over this movie, and i've never really liked her/their music because it always seemed way overhyped, part of that early-00s group of nyc bands like the strokes and the yeah yeah yeahs that got written up as part of a thriving scene by desperate freelancers when said scene was actually invented by the bands' shared, shrewd manager who knew how to pitch to desperate freelancers who were willing to believe anything that smelled remotely like a scoop/pitch. so to people who read said press at the time and bought it, nobody in the city outside of celebutards liked the strokes (and they played most of their shows in philly, anyway), the sidewalk was/is a shitty venue one rung above the continental but not quite as low as the long-lost spiral, and the moldy peaches were the vanity project of a nice jewish boy and his former baby sitter who liked to dress like a bear. sorry to ruin christmas.]

[that said, when the mp/kd shit is at its heaviest in juno, they made it work. but the strokes were, are, and will always be totally irrelevant, so there.]

blessedly, i didn't hate juno. i didn't love it, either, but, that said, if there had been a few more (or really, any) explosions in it, i would have truly been satisfied.


amy said...

i'm home all day too" working" and love your honest and well written essays.. i cant spell so back off

oxox sis aim

We are always, always mortal said...

Nice review. Very critical in the right places. I thought the Juno character was really well done but as a movie, it was an enjoyable comedy but not a whole lot more.

Your opinions are worth reading. I'll be checking back.