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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

December 18, 2007
Rating: 9/10

Remember when you went to see Napoleon Dynamite for the first time, and all your friends were like, "Dude, you are going to lose it because it is all so hilarious," and they ended up being totally right because you did totally lose it, and then you guys all quoted it for days, and you were all, "Your mom goes to college," "No, YOUR mom goes to college, heh heh heh, vote for Pedro!"?* But then something else happened. The film was a little more popular with the blockbuster crowd than expected, and it was able to secure a larger release. Suddenly there were t-shirts at Target quoting "Your mom goes to college" right back at you, and your memories of theater bliss became faint while annoyance set in.

I'm concerned that Juno, one of the year's best films, will go down that dubious road, judging from the amount of press it's already getting. When I walked into the theater, someone handed me a postcard that said "JOIN THE JUNOVERSE!" and then addressed me as "HOMESKILLET!" on the back. Now, I understand that movie studios are in the biz to make money, and that they all learned from Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine that indie comedies are no longer to be taken lightly. I know they are jumping on this thoroughly lovable movie like it's a winning lottery ticket not because they are corrupting capitalist pigs, but because that's their job. But as I sat there in that theater waiting for the film to begin, staring at a postcard that told me to post on my MySpace profile something about how "awesome" Juno is, I found myself hating on the movie before it even began.

When I refer to Juno as "thoroughly lovable," what I mean is "blasted through the barriers of presupposition and snobbery that I had defensively erected and restored my prematurely-hardened heart into a healthy, nay, thriving organ." I also cried, like, one thousand times.

Although I had recently made a promise to myself to dock each movie a half star that didn't feature talking polar bears in some fashion or another, I'm recalibrating my scale, people. The new magic formula for a kickass film is clever dialogue without overkill, genuine emotion and insight, a willingness to drop the irony when other films would use it as a crutch, and due attention to the magnificent rock bands from the early to mid-1990s.

You can read all about the director, screenwriter, and relevant trivia on IMDB.com or Wikipedia and, hell, you can even join the "Junoverse," if you want, whatever that is. Who am I to tell you not to, I still buy shoes at Delia's. It's just that in my opinion, the less hype you experience for this one, the better. In fact, I'm even worried about my OWN hype distracting you, so I'm going to go ahead and drain the rest of this review of any enthusiasm. You'll be getting plenty of it elsewhere, anyway. So I'll just say the acting was "fair," the directing "acceptable," and the screenplay utterly "middling."** I'd "maybe watch it again if it came on TV" and my inner teenage girl "certainly didn't wriggle with pleasure at being understood so completely."*** Nine out of ten, catch it if you want to, skip it if not, whatever, no biggie, I'll live.****
---

* Be honest.
** Lies.
*** More lies.
**** I'M A LITTLE WOODEN BOY.

SEE ALSO: www.foxsearchlight.com/juno

--
Susan Howson
A staff writer attending graduate school in Richmond, VA, Susan Howson cannot be persuaded to stop talking about movies.

See other articles by Susan Howson.

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