Llew and I finally saw Juno last night. We waited to watch it on DVD because at the time of its release, it struck us as a definite ‘home cinema’ experience. As we have a projector and therefore a big screen, these days it really takes a big action movie (the Dark Knight, for example) to get us to the multiplex. In retrospect, though, it would have been cool to see Juno with a theatre full of cackling homey youth. I can just imagine teens delighting in this flick, and I think it would have added another layer of pleasure to my own experience to see it with them. No matter: you’re no doubt well aware by now that Llew and I bear more than a passing resemblance to juvenile delinquents ourselves, if not in looks then certainly in thought and deed.
Great cast, with edible Iced Vo-Vo little cuties like Michael Cera and Ellen Page as well as hysterical favourites like Allison Janney and Jason Bateman, and that zinging Oscar-winning screenplay from Diablo Cody. Her story is justifiably famous now, the ex-stripper turned blogger turned Oscar heavy, and somewhere in amongst all the sass and coolly slouching smut of her tale is a fantastic dose of wonder-dust. It’s cause for great optimism for aspirants everywhere that Cody made it. Bravo, girl, there’s hope for the rest of us yet.
So we really enjoyed what is, let’s face it, a total fantasy run at teenage pregnancy. The boyfriend’s not a dick, the father’s not on the rampage, the stepmother’s not a witch, the best friend’s not a snitch and the pregnant teen somehow manages to exude a virginal grace throughout her entire ordeal whilst remaining uber cool and funny and adorable and… in school. A girl in my Year 8 class in high school (you read that right: she was 14) got pregnant, and her story wasn’t quite like Juno’s at all. But that’s okay, that’s why it’s such a champion of a film: we all know the reality usually stinks. Tricky subject, tricky lead role, and yet it’s handled beautifully, heroically, even. The best of us instead of the worst.
One thing I’m rapidly losing interest in is Special Features. I used to love these when DVDs first came out, but now they’re killing me. It’s exactly what happened to trailers; sneak previews used to be awesome, and now they summarise the entire movie from start to finish and show all the very best scenes and tell all the jokes. God I hate that. And now Special Features have devolved into some kind of arse-kissing fest where all the cast and director do is sit around blowing air up each other’s holes. It’s killingly dull for the rest of us, but maybe no one’s told them. In most cases, it also smashes to pieces whatever cosy reverie you’re in after a movie about the brilliance of the actors. Without the ready banter of a super smart script, some people do not have a single interesting thing to say. And it’s always unaccountably unbearable to hear a teenage actor waxing lyrical about their ‘work’ and ‘the incredible trust’ and ‘respect’ they have for the director. It may be sincere, but somehow that’s even worse. God, when I was Ellen Page’s age, I was incapable of deadpanning about myself and others like that. Actually, I’m still incapable. It’s just too absurd. Most of us are packing cones full of soft-serve, stacking shelves and flipping burgers at her age. There’s not a lot of sitting around ruminating on the building of one’s craft. So when Page says something like “And kudos to Diablo Cody… she’s one of the most real human beings ever,” all I want to do is direct her back to the script, when Juno says (of the term ‘sexually active’), “What does that even mean?”
My thoughts exactly, kid.