gotta hand it to the makers of Juno for sellecting the
perfect music for their movie. It's the fucking dreadful "Moldy
Peaches" and their cuddle-core bullshit of grownups singing
like they're in some Hello Kitty world of 'twee phoniness. It's
the music of people living in a bubble of artificial sweetness
that's supposed to protect them from reality.
God, I hate the Moldy Peaches. I ain't that much more keen on
Belle and Sebastian, whose 'twee crap is also in this movie.
I dig the Velvet Underground and was sort of bummed to have
"I'm Sticking With You" lumped in with the fakey bands that
have sprouted up from what it did forty years ago. There is
a Sonic Youth song, but they choose a crappy, slow Carpenters
cover when "Eliminator, Jr." would have been way, way more fun
to hear. People singing fake songs about fake emotions hoping
you'll notice how God damn cute they're being makes me want
to vomit. Into the singers' mouths. Nobody can be cute when
they're thinking about how cute they're being. I mean, think
about it. If a kid dumps a load in his pants at the McDonald's
Playland and smears it on the slide by accident, it's cute.
If the same kid does it on purpose, it's just kind of gross.
Or, think about little kids in beauty pageants. The ones who
actually want to be there are the least cute of all.
is the perfect soundtrack for the fake cutesy Juno. It's
like spending an hour-and-a-half with some sort of artificial
intelligence device that has the ability to perfectly articulate
emotions that nobody ever actually feels. It's well-spoken,
hyper-wordy, and a fraud.
plays Juno, the world's most annoying pregnant teenager. Knocked
up by her Tic-Tac swilling boyfriend (Michael Cera), she quickly
decides she can't abort the baby and finds adoptive parents
in the Pennysaver. The new parents (Jennifer Garner and Jason
Bateman) appear to be suburban yuppies who can't have kids their
own kids. The basic plot is pretty much Afterschool Special
territory. The second half of the movie finally abandons the
cutesy bullshit for some real emotion, but the first half is
drenched in it like that mean busybody old lady at the rec center
is with her White Shoulders.
nonplused by being pregnant. More specifically, it's an opportunity
for her to make references to Soupy Sales and Mott the Hoople,
and other snotty remarks that are about as far afield from what
a 16-year-old would actually know as me doing brain surgery.
Which, by the way, is what I registered as my wish with the
Make-a-Wish Foundation, who think I am an adolescent with debilitating
syphilis. Too many characters have too many nicknames, none
of which sound anything like what real people would call each
other, especially teenagers. They tend to call each other douche,
asshole, slut, dick and motherfucker, and they carry a fucklot
more meaning than the "Junebug" and "Liberty Bell" people are
is supposed to be some sort of fantasy. If it is, I don't get
it. I don't know why anybody would fill up these kids with all
these words just to make them sound like bad 40-something pop-culture
book writers and commentators on shitty E! programs. I also
don't understand why anyone would want so many characters to
talk the same way, all like a bad screenwriter, who is way too
in love with her own writing. And I don't get why everyone in
the movie is so fucking impressed with Page when she'd be almost
unbearable to be around for more than 15 minutes. I think I
have an idea, though: because writer/stripper Diablo Cody is
that pleased with herself, and that into showing off. It ain't
her boob s this time, but it's as synthetic as most strippers'.
supposed to be into late 60s garage rock like Iggy Pop and Mott
the Hoople. While she talks about how she digs it, Juno's
soundtrack is far softer and phonier, full of mopey 90s and
oughties whiners in cardigans. Further, her claimed love of
that sort of music and the horror of Italian hack Dario Argento
don't inform her character in any way. In real life, both of
these cultural touchstones are generally beloved by assholes
who like telling you they are into them far more than they really
are. Any time someone brings up Argento in your presence, run,
run like the wind. Pretension is a'coming. Really, Page doesn't
act like she would be into those things. I think that's mainly
because the movie just says she digs that shit to make her sound
quirky and independent. And when she opens her mouth, she doesn't
tell us a God damn thing about herself. She just tells us what
pop references Diablo cody thinks are cool and make her sound
in the last half hour of Juno, the movie comes to life.
The yuppie couple reveal their true personalities: the uptight,
ambitious mother is a potentially good mother and the sour;
reluctant father is a backward-looking sleazebag. Page is finally
faced with a decision to which her response isn't outdated cultural
snarks. It's the only decent twist in the whole story. Plus,
when she's pushing out a little baby, she has to shut off the
cute crap for at least a few minutes.
of decent filmmaking is then broken, though. After handing off
the baby to its new parents, Page rides her bike to her boyfriend's
house and starts playing a shitty Moldy Peaches song with him.
I'm not sure what the message is supposed to be here. Maybe
it's that having a kid and putting it up for adoption turns
you from being a lover of protopunk into a soft-centered, cutesy
bullshit artist who cranks out Target-commercial-ready ingenue
pop. What a fucking sellout. Two Fingers for Juno.
to tell Filthy Something?