Monday, January 21, 2008

Honest to blog.

I have to thank my friend Mr. X for saving me from a horrible night at the movies. From time to time, he'll slip me a dvd of some bootlegged movies, usually ones still in general release. Since we don't get out to the movies much anymore, it's been great to watch flicks like Atonement and American Gangster at home, even though the quality is not really that great. But, hey - it's free.

On Saturday, Mrs. Best mentioned she wanted to see the movie Juno. I was down with the idea, it looked like a fun, quirky Little Miss Sunshine type flick and was on my list of stuff to see. Well, after a day of working around the house, we ended up too unmotivated to head out to see the movie.

So, we were excited to get a new dvd from Mr. X yesterday that contained not only Juno, but There Will Be Blood. After cleaning up the debris from hosting an all-day football buddies NFL playoff viewing, we threw Juno on the dvd player. I lasted about half an hour before I bailed, though Mrs Best watched the whole thing and seemed to enjoy it. I'm very glad we didn't go out to see it in the theater, because I would have been in misery.

I really wanted to like it, but the insufferably arch and sarcastic dialogue irritated me to no end. For example, here's a quote from Gawker that nails it:

"When Juno, the 16-year-old heroine of the movie being marketed hardest to my generation this holiday season, tells her best friend she's pregnant, the friend's first reaction is, "Honest to blog?" CLUNK."

I think that was the exact line where I began to hate the movie. I love "smart" comedies, but this movie just seemed fake and phony. Everything Juno says is smug and precocious and overbearingly self-aware, which is ok, I guess - in small doses. But don't make everyone in the movie talk and act the same way! Juno says "funny" and quirky things in a monotone - and so does her dad, stepmom, boyfriend, boyfriend's friend, girlfriend, clinic receptionist, adopting couple, convenience store clerk - it's just endless glib and fake lines spoken by every actor in the movie.

Screenwriter Diablo Cody has an interesting backstory and she's obviously talented, but she needs to stop trying to impress us with how damn clever she is with every spoken line. Hopefully, she will gain some maturity as a writer, because there is some promise there.

I did like the soundtrack.

1 comment:

Crustodio said...

and nominated for the Oscar for best picture: JUNO!