I saw Juno over Christmas. I did not like it. I am apparently in the minority. The film has just grossed over $100 million, which is unheard of for indie films. Even Little Miss Sunshine did not make that kind of money. So my question is — why? Why do people love this movie so much? Did anyone see it? I did not find any of the dialogue particularly clever. I did not care about the relationship between Juno and the Michael Cera character. I cringed anytime any of the characters discussed music or movies. A sampling of what the dialogue was like, for those who haven’t seen it:
Jason Bateman: I think the best time for music was in the ’90s when bands like Alice in Chains and Green River typified the grunge movement from Seattle where people wore plaid shirts and drank coffee and there was grunge.
Juno: Are you kidding? I’m the most precocious 16 year old on the planet and I know that the best time for music was in 1979 and the No Wave movement and Glenn Branca and the drummer in Blondie was named Clement Burke.
Jason Bateman: You’re out of your mind if you think that! Did you know that Mudhoney’s breakthrough 1991 album Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge was typical of the grunge movement from Seattle and it was engineered by Conrad Uno and released on July 26th?
Juno: Iggy and the motherfuckin’ Stooges, budonkadonk LOL.
Jason Bateman: May I feel your boobies?
Sarah, my dad, and I were trashing the movie when we left the theater and my mom defended it — “oh, c’mon,” she said. “It was just a cute, small movie.” Which, I would be willing to give it to someone who felt that way about it. It was just a cute, small movie is probably the right attitude for watching Juno. I was expecting cute, funny movie, so I was disappointed. But I think most audiences do not see it as just a cute, small movie … I think they see it as a heartwarming festival of laughs. The parts where Juno was speaking like a 29 year-old bad writer (i.e., pretty much everything out of her mouth)? I think a lot of people aspire to talk like that. They wish they knew how to sound that pretentious.
I dunno. I don’t get it. I do know this: here’s an article about the Juno backlash that is every bit as annoying as the film. The article is written by someone who liked the movie but doesn’t want to like it anymore because it’s up for an Oscar against serious movies like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. There is no place for me in this fight. It seems like in America you either love Juno for the wrong reasons or hate it for the wrong reasons. I, on the other hand, disliked it for exactly the right reasons. I win!