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Friday, June 23, 2017

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Because we have been waiting for you for a decade

Juno Sucks

There’s something really grotesque and voyeuristic about reading a stranger’s blog. You are exposed to all the intricacies and minutiae of a life you are in no way connected to or care about, and yet you devour the details like a nosy mother thumbing through her teenage daughter’s diary. Only the entire time you are thinking about how horrible it’s going to feel when someone catches you. That is how I felt sitting through the movie Juno.

Though I saw it relatively early in its release, I couldn’t escape the backstory; Some Suicide Girl-type was a stripper and then a blogger and now she is an Academy-award nominated writer. Critics like her because she is so Web 2.0 and edgy. Moms like her because she is kind of wholesome, but still allows them to appropriate a sense of hip because she has a funky haircut. Oprah likes her because her mom still calls her by her real name. Triad of success, right?

Unfortunately, watching an entire film based on the ramblings and questionable musical tastes of another quick-spoken, acid-tongued thirtysomething disguising herself as a precocious teen is unbearable. From the heroine’s inexplicable life choices and detachment from all things meaningful, to the comical and horrifyingly clichéd marriage of the adoptive parents of Juno’s unborn child — each scene was like a parody of itself and worse, it felt like I was watching writer Diablo Cody reclaim the fantasy she always had about her idealized teenage self. Juno is supposed to be cool, sassy and smarter than adults. Only teenagers are idiots and it’s kind of sad for adults to pretend otherwise. So why is everyone shitting their mind’s for this movie?

In much the same way your grandmother and cable news pundits have shakily embraced the concepts of “blogging” and “facebooking” and manufactured quirkiness, they are embracing Juno en masse. “Oh my gosh, she talks on a hamburger phone!” “Look at her she says things that are wacky and make no sense, so hip!” Juno is precisely the kind of middle brow pap masquerading as subversive indie fare that mainstream audiences achingly lap up. At its core it’s an extended Degrassi High episode, only more pubescently painful to watch and far more removed from reality. It’s a groaning, moaning hour and a half after-school special written not by your parents, but by your disaffected babysitter next door.

It’s OK to like the film because it’s safe and totally unrealistic. Juno doesn’t get an abortion (like most real teenagers of her ilk would,) she glides through pregnancy as though it were a nasty case of gas — inconvenient, but temporary — and she talks the way stupid people think smart people talk, i.e., like a douche. Isn’t it the least bit disconcerting to anyone that the movie propagates such false happiness at the end? Teenage boys are not that sensitive and understanding, even the most patient parents could never be so complacent and having a baby at 15 probably fucks you up at least just a little. Like maybe it would take longer than a couple weeks for you to get your shit together enough to hum pretty little ditties with the father of your child, a child you very recently pushed out of your barely grown vagina and subsequently gave up for adoption to a lady who is obviously more than a little crazy and whose former husband is a total pedo.

In the end, Juno is like a temporary tattoo; little more than social artifice for those too scared and oblivious to handle the real thing.

Plus, it wasn’t funny at all and if it wins the Oscar for Best Picture I’ll kill myself. (Just kidding, no one cares who wins at the Oscars!)

  1. Cameron

    2c: Ellen Page’s performance was not that great either.

    - Jan 24, 08:27 PM

  2. NYIRI

    Yes, funny how I emailed you the same opinion this morning. Although that still didn’t stop me from bawling into Sirrah’s bosom during the entire credits.

    (AND, what was with the step mom having weimereimers when Juno was CLEARLY still living at home?!)

    - Jan 25, 12:07 AM

  3. kk

    aside from the stupid “indie music” references i thought it was good

    - Jan 25, 03:41 AM

  4. Junior

    I totally don’t believe that the dad opened for the melvins

    - Jan 25, 04:15 AM

  5. right

    put this article in a time machine, then set the dial for “two months ago,” plz.

    - Jan 25, 04:52 AM

  6. Suburbanite

    Yeah totally! Except two months ago it was just another shitty movie and not an ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE. Genius.

    - Jan 25, 04:59 AM

  7. David

    “and she talks the way stupid people think smart people talk, i.e., like a douche”

    That’s the best phrase I’ve read in donkeys years. Well done.

    - Jan 25, 05:55 AM

  8. Morgan

    Actually I don’t think “most” teenagers would get an abortion. There’s enough teenage mothers hanging out at Broadway and Commercial as evidence to the contrary.
    I also don’t think its fair to mass all teenagers into the same stereotypical category and say they are all insensitive idiots incapable of understanding.
    I’ll admit that I cringed a bit at Juno’s surprisingly easy pregnancy but then I realized that pregnancy isn’t always as horrible and unnatural and painful as most Hollywood movies make it out to be, a lot of women have positive experiences during pregnancy. In the end I actually appreciated the fact that it was portrayed in a different sort of light in this movie. I was just glad that at the end of it all she didn’t look down into her newborns’ eyes and become overwhelmed with a sense of purpose and love and decide to keep the baby. Pu-leeez! Too many movies portray childbirth some kind of savior for the wayward women, so i think it was at least positive in that it was different.If you wanna get yer hate on about a pregnancy themed movie, rent “Waitress” (retch)

    - Jan 25, 02:36 PM

  9. pop tart

    when is pregnancy “unnatural,” morgan?

    i could definately go for a casual pregnancy like juno’s.
    like casual friday but with a human life being created.
    and maternity jeans.

    and someone really should have gone through and weeded out heaps of pop-culture references.

    it reminded me of that scene in ’10 things i hate about you’ where they’re watching a band and the dude says “well, they’re no the raincoats.”

    no the raincoats?
    who would say that?
    like the wrote the script with all these [insert cool band here] and then filled it in like a madlib

    - Jan 25, 06:26 PM

  10. Cameron

    That’s totally it…the script was written in madlibs.

    The only two times I actually laughed was from Jason Bateman’s character and Juno’s dad. Both good comedic actors. Every time Ellen Page spoke I cringed. I watched this with my GF last night and this article is totally on point.

    - Jan 25, 07:03 PM

  11. blogr

    my bf totally hearts the moldy peaches now..
    and i think adam green iz SO hawt!<3<3

    - Jan 25, 09:34 PM

  12. Baron von Poopypants

    Yeah, it was pretty wack. That dialogue between the nerd from The Office and the just-realised-she’s-pregnant teen was overly contrived. Homeskillet? Stupid.

    It’s a movie that old people (like me) like because we think it deals with youth in the way that they truly are. Barf and bullshit.

    Teens are narbos. They aren’t articulate and they don’t have a wealth of pop culture knowledge to conveniently spew when appropriate. I bet if you look at most little shit’s mp3 players they would showcase a wide variety of music ranging from Soulja Boy to Akon and right on back to Rhianna. And they NEED the one that can hold 10,000 songs, okay?

    They are generally not interesting, not creative, not smart and definitely not funny. When they are around adults, they clam up and get all sullen, because they don’t get us the same way we don’t get them. Unless you give them beer, then they start swearing a lot and you can make them do stupid shit because they think it will be cool and make you like them more.

    Kids speak in monosyllables, unless they are nerds, and then they use multisyllabic words (such as multisyllabic) and they aren’t going around having unprotected sex, that’s for sure.

    The representation of teens was like the Moldy Peaches: totally endearing if you’re a mom, but if you are grounded in reality, a waste of time by a bunch of tryhards.

    I am planning on renting Waitress, but mainly because Adrienne Shelley needs my support (in heaven).

    - Jan 26, 12:54 AM

  13. Pickles

    Wow. I might have missed a clever reference (I haven’t gone out and seen Juno yet), but did someone (Poopypants) just use the word “tryhard” without irony? That’s pretty funny.

    - Jan 26, 03:28 AM

  14. sean orr

    Hey didn’t Pretty in Pink win like 5 Oscars? Besides, Garden State changed my life forever.

    - Jan 26, 09:11 AM

  15. Morgan

    “when is pregnancy “unnatural,” morgan?”

    ……Uhh, actually what I was saying is that pregnancy ISN’T unnatural, Pop Tart. Rather that Hollywood movies always seem to feel the need to portray it as some horrible experience. Sorry you missed that rather obvious point.
    Perhaps I should have written it phonetically for you?

    - Jan 27, 06:42 PM

  16. Baron von Poopypants

    I also used the word narbo (it’s from the original Degrassi Junior High, they also favoured “broomhead” as an insult), and that didn’t get any kind of comment?

    Also, why should “tryhard” be used with irony? I’ve recently been cleaning up the irony around me, so if anyone could fill me in on how I should ditch this word along with my toy plastic sunglasses and summer camp t-shirts, that would be really, really, nice and appreciated (see? No irony!)

    - Jan 28, 07:37 PM

  17. hustle jr

    I’m the only 15 year old I know who doesn’t like that movie. I only like Juno’s parents. Why didn’t I like the movie? I can’t come up with a mature enough answer yet, so I’ll get back to you in 5 years.

    - Jan 30, 02:43 AM

  18. Pamela

    Just listening to “Diablo Cody” on NPR and callers are falling all over themselves in admiration.

    Very astute criticisms, Amil,thank you!

    - Feb 5, 06:58 PM

  19. Jenny Charlesworth

    And to top it all off, Diablo Cody wrote another film with an equally blase title “Jennifer’s Body,” which is to be shot in our unfortunate town shortly.

    Proving that any girl who dies her hair black and learns to get friendly with a bottle of chocolate sauce can have her dreams come true too!

    - Feb 13, 11:27 PM

  20. Dustin

    definatly, that movie sucked ass…the only way it could of possibly been enjoyable would of been if Dr Dre punched that chick protesting abortion and said “bitch please you must have a mental disese assume the position and get back down on your knees”. Then she gets the abortion and the movie ends, but not before her friend gets hit by a car and says “blog this” before she dies.

    - Feb 20, 03:29 AM

  21. Amie G

    Some guy on the skytrain (while singing “I’m suicidal” in falsetto) told me that Ellen Page looks like me tonight.

    - Mar 10, 09:59 AM

  22. Sliding Slope

    I’m gonna say it – Superbad sucked too. An hour and a half of cock and gay jokes?

    I’m not 13 anymore.

    - Mar 10, 04:38 PM

  23. Illini Pride

    At least Superbad had the dialog of kids their age. Yeah, most boys talk the way they do. Like a bunch of morons, even if they are fairly smart in school.

    Seriously, you were surrounded by dick and gay jokes at 13?? Did you even know what being gay actually meant at 13?

    - Mar 14, 04:26 PM

  24. Sliding Slope

    Yeah, I did. I had a progressive mom.

    And just because Superbad tells it like it is, in their own words – does that mean it should appeal to all of us? I don’t hang around teenage boys because they’re teenage boys – why would I want to see a movie about them (the development of their platonic love subplot notwithstanding)?

    - Mar 14, 05:48 PM

  25. memories are short

    Why would the platonic love subplot be notwithstanding? It’s a good chunk of the plot.

    Also, if you didn’t want to see a movie about junior high school students, why did you see it? You wanted a film featuring junior high school students who talked about what you are interested in- presumably super-particle-accellerators based in Switzerland? You should make that movie yourself, then everybody could see it, talk amongst themselves about how realistic it is, AND how it related to their own lives. That’s what movies are about, not telling interesting stories, but reflecting accurately the lives of the viewers and what they expect to see on the screen.

    - Mar 16, 04:37 AM

  26. Love is overhated

    MEMORIES ARE SHORT” thanks for adding a little human here. Although it is so en vogue to lack natural affection and to overly criticize in vain it seems to be the easy way rather then coming up with something better yourself and sharing the love in your veins to the world.

    Peace in the middle..we all fall down..

    - Mar 16, 07:13 PM

  27. Mark

    I’m glad I’m not he only one who thought this movie wasn’t any good.

    People (read movie makers) need to realize that “odd” doesn’t equal “funny.”

    Plus the soundtrack was UN-FREAKING-BEARABLE, w.t.f?

    - May 16, 03:08 PM

  28. Fredrik

    This review is spot-on, good read.

    - Aug 6, 09:22 AM

  29. Oliver

    Its interesting how the # of comments (and thus readers) of a blog article (and thus a blog) is the result of choosing a common if not cliched opinion or viewpoint to talk about…. rather than actually propagating an original and perhaps interesting idea or thought.

    Why am I writing this? Because on the one hand I want to blog. But on the other, I realize that I would only ever blog about something that hasn’t been discussed ad nauseum on 100 other blogs, and yet at the same time, nobody would read such a blog which defeats the entire purpose.

    - Dec 14, 04:26 AM

  30. Brad Burns of Virtua Fighter

    “Garden State changed my life forever.”
    That is pretty fucking sad man, pretty fucking sad.

    - Jan 11, 07:02 PM

  31. Juno

    Honest to blog?:) Honestly, I don’t see what the anti“Juno” hatred is, or for THAT matter the hatred of “Disaster Movie”, EITHER!! [Guess which movie IT spoofed, among OTHERS!] Has everyone FORGOT WHAT FUN’S ALL ABOUT, FOR PETE’S SAKE? I think the reasons given for Diablo Cody being loved by everyone were correct, moms, critics, Oprah,etc.:)
    Boy, you need to tlak to friends, get some good times, on your hamburger phone.

    Homeskillet.

    Hey, what other shenanigans can I get into

    - Mar 19, 03:41 AM

  32. Patrick Randall

    Maybe this is too obvious… but why are you people going out to see these frikkin’ mainstream teeny bopper movies anyway? Are you surprised they suck? Seriously wtf are you people thinking going to see this shit and then bitching about it? You’re saying you’re not 13 but you’re totally acting like it. OF course it was fluff! of COURSE its up for an Oscar! Get a clue and stop watching movies because they popped up in your browser while you were checking your e-mail. Unless you just WANT something to bitch about… Which I totally can appreciate. ya… totally way too late with this comment but, I’m bored of homework. Go ONLY!

    - Apr 9, 04:02 AM

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