©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
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This week:

Filthy says:
"Will you please be quiet, please?"

You 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.

Good fucking 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.

Fake cutesy 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.

Ellen Page 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.

Page is 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 called here.

Maybe Juno 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'.

Page is 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 "out there".

Finally, 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.

The spell 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.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Earl Dittman of Wireless Magazine

Never Back Down is "A total knockout! Sensational!"

Filthy's Reading
Dashiell Hammett - Red Harvest

Listening to
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation


Our Gang Volume 2