Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Juno: You're a Phony!"

Jim DeRogatis , the music critic from the Chicago Sun-Times, has posted a pointed take down of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's gratingly sardonic Juno, and has brought up some very good points:

As an unapologetically old-school feminist, the father of a soon-to-be-teenage daughter, a reporter who regularly talks to actual teens as part of his beat and a plain old moviegoer, I hated, hated, hated this movie. A few of my many problems:

*The notion that kids -- even smart and sarcastic ones -- talk like Juno is a lie only thirtysomething filmmakers and fiftysomething movie critics could buy. You want accurate wisecracking high-school dialog? Go back to MTV's animated "Daria" or Sara Gilbert's Darlene on "Roseanne." Or, as Juno says, "Honest to blog!"

*Are we really supposed to believe that a girl as intelligent and self-empowered as Juno, when determining the time to lose her virginity via a planned encounter with her best friend, neglects to bring birth control? Or that her endearingly human parents, no matter how non-judgmental, accept the news of her pregnancy so nonchalantly? And why doesn't anybody, including the father, respectfully ask the ever-sneering Juno her reasoning for having the baby and giving it up for adoption?

*I lived in Minneapolis, where the film is set, in the early '90s, and every day on my way to work, I passed a women's clinic besieged by angry protesters determined to deny its patients access. It was no laughing matter, and regardless of your personal politics at a time when the future of Roe v. Wade is very much in doubt, the clinicians, the patients and even the protesters all deserve more complex, nuanced and thoughtful portraits than the simplistic and insulting caricatures drawn by Cody.

My biggest problem was the dialogue, I didn't believe it for a minute. It seemed way too smug and hipper-than-thou. In her own way, Juno was every bit as arrogant and judgmental as the popular kids she so despised.

Click here to read the full article.

1 comment:

cjKennedy said...

Hah...I just wrote a post about this article.

As much as it pains me to disagree with a guy who shares my opinion of the movie, I think he really didn't like it because of Kimya Dawson more than anything. He's a music guy and it's pretty clear he can't stand her.

Since she's all over that movie, it's no suprise he hated it.