Saturday, 9 February 2008

Juno, Tracy Barlow and the criminal element

So we went to see Juno last night. Of course we loved it. I'm almost annoyed by the predictability of me loving it. Let us count the factors they put in place to snare me. Smart-mouth, hyper-literate teen speak? Check. Alison Janney? Check. Acoustic, whispering soundtrack? Check. Jason Bateman, changing of the seasons, hand-hewn title sequence, Belle & Sebastian, for Christ's sake... 

I always find it grating in the extreme when people say to me, 'Ooh, you'll love this', or 'This will REALLY make you laugh.' In fact, it only inspires me to make a point of absolutely not loving it, or remaining steadfastly stony-faced. I am nothing if not stubborn. (What can I say? I'm a Capricorn, this is how we roll.) Of course I'm infinitely more multi-faceted and endlessly fascinating than anyone who thinks they know me and my love of whimsical Americana could possibly predict. Aren't I? Oh, apparently not. (By the way, I've just worked out where the italics button is. This novelty will wear off soon, I'm fairly certain.) 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Juno was the way it featured fictional characters goofily picking up instruments, singing and strumming along, without making me cringe in any way at all. Lest we forget, this is never usually the case. Evidence for the prosecution?

Is it only me who can't watch this? Julie, Julie, Julie... Or is it actually Ethan Hawke who really brings the cringe here? I can't decide.

Afterwards, Eleanor make the excellent point that Juno made being 16 look a lot better than being thirtysomething. And someone else – probably me, actually – said it made being 16 look a lot better than being 16. Personally, I followed the Tracy Barlow model of adolescence –staying in my bedroom, shunning any form of natural light and listening to pop music I would later disown. 

In the real world, even one of us becoming a real-life crime statistic shortly before the film  began could barely dim our enjoyment. It's disquieting to have your narrow-mindedness affirmed. There I was in the restaurant, enjoying my black beans and meatballs (organic tapas, since you ask), looking at our neighbouring diners and thinking to myself, 'That's unusual. Two men out for dinner together, and they don't even look gay,' only for them to leave the restaurant without ordering, having liberated my friend's purse from her handbag. Anyway, if you went to the 9pm screening of Juno at the Greenwich Picture House and wondered why the police were interviewing that glamorous, pregnant woman, now you know. She had been Wronged. Although you probably knew that anyway, since the only people likely to be actually reading this were probably there at the time. 


1 comment:

Miss Jones said...

Someone has now made it clear that it wasn't me at all who actually said that Juno made 16 look a lot better than being 16. Sorry.

This is how it starts.

Next I'll be claiming to be Belle de Jour.

Although, as anyone who knows me would agree, that would be one hell of a double life.