Sunday, March 23, 2008

Juno + Superbad

I saw two movies recently - both struck me has having distinct similarities although they both are being sold at rather extreme ends of the Hollywood marketing gender continuum.

Superbad and Juno are both essentially comedies, although the latter has some bittersweet moments that can muddle its genre. Both are laser focussed on finding a fresh, unique voice and powering a film with it. And both take some big chances that make the end result very interesting. (Superbad has a risky Cops Gone Wild subplot and Juno inserts an awkward subplot around a teetering marriage - an unnecessary but admirable risk).

And yes, I incessantly chuckled through both - and enjoyed myself.

Both also have Michael Cera playing variations on the good-hearted, smart geek character that he seems to have cornered the market on. I'm still undecided about him - is he truly a talent or is he the second coming of Jason Biggs? Only time will tell.

In any case, I liked several things about Juno - in no particular order.

Diablo Cody - who won an Oscar for Original Screenplay - has a pretty neat story. But its the sharp zing she brings to her dialogs that make the movie fun to watch. It all begins with Rainn Wilson's poisonous darts in the first scene where Juno is taking her third pregnancy test of the day. And often it sounds precocious, precious or posturing, but its fresh enough that you strive to overlook the flaws.

Much has been said about Ellen Page's portroyal of Juno and how it has become a cultural touchstone for young girls. But I felt Cody didn't necessarily expound on the character of Juno much. She sort of just cuts the girl loose on us. And in retaining her mystery, she makes her someone you don't fully understand but wouldn't mind hanging out with in order to understand better.

I also dug the fact that we finally get to see a blue-collar family react to a family crisis with grace, love, care and support. Thanks, writer lady.

10 comments:

megan said...

I love Michael Cera, he was pure comedy gold in Arrested Development. I need to buy all three seasons as an investment for a lot of laughter in future. He rocks and no he's not Jason Biggs part deux LOL...

And i loved Superbad. I laughed my non-existing balls off.. the cocaine room scene was priceless.. LOL the scene where they were supa drunk in the sleeping bags was gr8 too.. i can't wait to buy the DVD

I loved Juno and everyone knows about it right? i used to rave about it not so long ago..I could watch a movie about Juno McGuff once a year, she should be fox searchlihgt's Harry Potter

megan said...

also i get surprised and pissed off when ppl go "kids dont talk like that" with regards to movies like Juno and Superbad

and i would be like "dude do you remember me when i was 16?" i used to be into arcane shit and talked about the most obscure stuff all the time that no one got..

yeah just because you were one of those mainstream ppl doesn't mean there aren't other kids who don't conform to your social norm..fark

Joules said...

I haven't seen Juno but saw Superbad. The movie started out with being a little crude for me - not my kind of humor. But as the movie progressed I was laughing so hard. And the script was so unpredictable, it was brilliant.

Aspi said...

megan, what did you think of the female characters in Superbad? Real or caricatures?

Mind Rush said...

Before I saw Juno I knew it was PG-13. My jaw dropped at the beginning and I continued to be shcoked that Hollywood can sell such movies and erroneously label them PG-13.

That was a PG-16 movie.

Mind Rush said...

Also, I hear the Bollywood's Big B, Baby B and the B Bahu are arriving to entertain the "bahujan" of the West.

Anyone planning to see them?

megan said...

aspi, they were quite "real" i suppose.. a lot of girls at my school were like that... and i didn't think the movie was degrading to women either..i mean thats how teenage boys are.. what can you do..

not every young woman is a "megan" :D

and yeah one more point you are rite, the parents in Juno were really cool, they were supportive and understanding and not cliched dicks

"its a pilates machine"

"what does it make?" LOL classic

Aspi said...

I enjoyed all of JK Simmons in that movie actually. And it made me realize how badly he's been used by Hollywood thanks to his high profile success in Spider-man. All the big roles he got after that involved some version of self-absorbed barking. Until Juno that is.

megan said...

JK Simmons? is that his name? i recognized him as a character artist in many movies but never knew his name

i remember him from that Oz show, my brother used to love it so much. I prefer the toned down version with hotter guys and less violence and prison rape scenes - Prison Break

seriously if all the prisoners looked like Michael Scofield, I would be willing to hook up with one

Aspi said...

That's right - he was on Oz now that I remember. If I had the time to watch American TV, I still wouldn't have watched that show - too brutal.