Saturday, April 12, 2008

Juno I Spent $3.50 To See This

So this was my first trip back to the LaGrange since the ticket prices were raised a staggering seventy-five percent. Having only three single dollar bills in my wallet, I reached for quarters out of our change jar (okay, I had a twenty dollar bill too, but I didn't want to break it).

With the stakes raised so high now, what were my choices tonight?

Untraceable - Looks like another crappy torture porn movie. Plus, it wasn't playing tonight at the 9:00pm show, because Theater 2 was featuring "Live Comedy".

The Bucket List - You're not expecting me to sit through this, are you?

27 Dresses - When I was contemplating seeing a movie last week, I would have chosen this over Untraceable -- which honestly isn't saying much.

Juno - Woo, an Oscar-winning "indie" comedy!

It was nothing but the best for Juno -- Theater 1, in all its curvy splendor. Live Comedy had to suck it in Theater 2 tonight.

So, I actually sat down for this movie with some trepidation. Was there a Diablo Cody backlash still in progress? Would I be another screeching voice in the anti-Diablo chorus if I criticized the movie? Or had the backlash recoiled already, and we were in the midst of a backlash to the backlash -- a Diablo Cody resurgence, a Diablo Cody Renaissance?

I didn't know, but I felt like I should be sensitive about the crap I would be saying. Then several minutes into the movie, this line is uttered by a cashier played by Rainn Wilson:

"This is one doodle that can't be un-did, Homeskillet."

Thank you for this shitty line of dialogue, which completely absolves me of any snarky thing I spew about this movie.

It's not like the script was awful or anything. It just wasn't good. The dialogue really ventured into overcutesy unrealistic pop culture nonsense from time to time. And there was a really terrible scene where Juno gets an ultrasound, where the technician makes some out-of-the-blue ridiculously offensive statements and Juno's stepmother responds in an unrealistic diatribe that would never be uttered by a person on this planet.

I'll say that Diablo Cody deserved an Oscar for the screenplay in the same way that Crash deserved its Best Picture Oscar a couple years ago. They both deserved the awards because the Oscars are in no way an indicator of excellence. I'm sorry if I'm being unfair to Crash -- I did see only a few minutes of it, a horrendously acted scene between Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock. Perhaps all the other minutes of Crash were manna from heaven.

Anyways, I'm happy to report that the screenplay, which again wasn't awful, and which again wasn't remotely good either, was not the most annoying thing about Juno.

Oh lord, the music. The music wouldn't stop. And they used so much music I liked. "I'm Sticking With You" by the Velvet Underground; The Kinks' "A Well Respected Man". They used some Belle and Sebastian songs, a Buddy Holly song, even an Antonio Carlos Jobim song. These songs were UNEARNED by the filmmakers. Because you have a boring movie where little happens does not give you the right to paste over every goddamn transition with a catchy song. You didn't earn it. You didn't EARN it.

I was actually hostile to the lesser-known songs of Juno, just for the fact that I felt the songs that I *did* know were treated so shabbily. Now see what you did, Juno? You turned me against indie rock! For shame, Juno. For shame.


Dr. Zaius said...

My condolences for your grim adventure.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wow, that's a whole lot of evil in one little film!

Joe said...

Funny, all the conservatives I know seem to really have liked this movie.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

So let me get this straight, you didn't like this film then?

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

I was thinking about renting Juno whenever it comes out, but I don't know if I will now. I think yours is the first negative review I've seen for it, but then again I'm living in Canada where everything connected to the country gets a thumbs up.

I must say, though, that the more I see Ellen Page the more I think she's the second most beautiful woman on the planet and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Jenna said...

Word. I wanted the music to stop too. Cute movie, but not the end all be all everyone claimed it to be.

Tenacious S said...

Clearly you didn't see this movie with a 13 year old girl, who thought it was the shit.

lulu said...

I really liked the movie, however, I spend a lot of time with teenagers, so my feelings are a little warped. I loved the relationship between her and Justin Bateman, it was the best part of the movie to me.

Manx said...

I have not seen this yet as well. My wife wants to, but I had trepidations that it might be overly cutesy-poo.

Would it be possible to accept these cute, witty, unbelievable things by just pretending it's one of those movie dimensions filled with cute, witty, unbelievable characters that you know can't exist but still entertains you?

Let's see...kind of like Edward Scissor Hands maybe?

It sounds like the song whoring should not be forgiven though. I have seen this in other movies too.

Let's see...kind of like Reality Bites maybe? God I hate that movie.

dguzman said...

Oy vey. I've been avoiding the movie because of all the hype; thanks for confirming my suspicions that it most likely was overly and painfully "hip" and thus that it sucked.

However, I did like Crash.

p0nk said...

i watched Stop-Loss over the weekend. pretty decent flick.

Greg said...

I am refraining from seeing the film for the sole fact that the writer is named Diablo Cody.
What a ridiculously stupid name.

escralan said...

Hey, listen, I can be as open minded and far left as the next guy, but seeing those 'Juno win oscar coming soon' pics up, hanging from the rafters at the local Best Buy makes me want to go bathe in a tub of crumbled William F. Buckley columns.