Honest to blog.
I promise this ain’t solely a linkblog, but Jim Emerson hits the nail on the head about the backlash on Juno, which has become the whipping boy (girl?) for frustrated critics everywhere.
My take: I liked it. I didn’t love it. It didn’t change my life. But I don’t believe it wasn’t supposed to.
Did Roger Ebert, others give this movie the Curse of the Critics? Isn’t it true that everybody that talks about this movie has to choose a side and defend it to the hilt? Can’t it just be the quirky indie it wants to be? Yeah, the dialogue is a bit campy. Is camp that far from quirk?
And the actors find a way to actually make it work. Eventually, the dialogue gives way, the situations become a bit more real and director Jason Reitman’s steady hand brings it home.
Strange about the dialogue backlash: didn’t people feel the same way about Heathers? That no teens talked that way? But that’s what I loved about that movie, that it felt like it was from a different world, although I recognized a big part of it. Remember Clueless? No one I knew used the phrase “as if” prior to the movie. Neither of these is a perfect film, and don’t claim to be. But my generation got it. We understood at the heart of those characters, we shared a common element.
The thing about Juno is that it sees those movies (among others) and aches desperately to be them, but it never can be. Although many of them share a similar structure, times have changed. And with a baby on the way, the stakes are higher than ever. So the people behind the wonky diatribes start to talk in real terms. I know I was stung by the attack on Jason Bateman and his stupid shirt.
Starting to think I’m gonna have to re-watch Juno and think fondly back on Winona Ryder clad in black. Hmmm.
In the meantime, cue the anti-backlash backlash!