You may think that I have absolutely no objectivity when it comes to talking about the new movie, Juno, primarily because screenwriter Diablo Cody and I have anal sex with each other on a regular basis. (She's the top.) But rectal pleasure has never deterred me from being honest about art.
The movie, which just won the top prize at the Rome Film Festival, is very funny. But you already knew that. The cast is unbelievably excellent—I don't think there's been an ensemble this uniformly terrific all year. But you already knew that too. Cody's strong, sassy, refreshingly intelligent voice—which is evident from her blog—is stamped on every frame of the film. But you already knew that as well.
Let me tell you some things you probably won't know until you see the movie for yourself:
* The story's simple premise sets up expectations about how things will precisely unfold, but you'll be constantly surprised at how the film seems like it's about something but will then reveal that it's also about something else and then reveal that it's about something else too. With each new narrative and thematic layer, Juno burrows closer and closer to its—and your—heart.
* The characters you like eventually show unflattering sides, while the characters you dislike eventually show their tenderness. This is the mark of a writer with a humane and understanding eye—don't let that fierce exterior fool you, folks.
* One of the many things Juno is about is how people and circumstances slowly chip away at our pregnant heroine's tough, sarcastic veneer—and it's ironic that she learns to become an adult when she stops trying so hard to act like one.
In order to prove my objectivity and build up some credibility, I'm going to throw in a piece of criticism so you all know I'm not blindly blowing sunshine up anyone's ass. The first ten minutes are filled with what seems like an endless barrage of indie pop songs, meant to underscore images of suburban sprawl and meant to establish mood. Enough with the fucking soundtrack! I thought. Thankfully, the music faded into the background, songs were later used in seemingly appropriate places, and the director simply allowed the actors and the script to shine.
(This week's strap-on better be extra big.)