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Juno Bashing

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It had to happen. Suddenly the little movie everyone loved is the juggernaut everyone loathes. The Internet is full of talkbackers claiming they'll slit their wrists if Juno beats No Country for Old Men or There Will Be Blood for the Best Picture Oscar. Why the sudden switch? Juno has committed the cardinal sin for a small movie — it's making money. Having passed the $100 million mark at the box office and showing no signs of slowing down, Juno is — in the words of Robert Duvall in Network — "a big, fat, big-titted hit." And since Juno has far outgrossed the other four Best Picture nominees, a question is raised: What does it profit a movie to become a household word if it loses its indie cred? Here are few comments overheard around the Rolling Stone office — react, please, honest to blog:

— Could Ellen Page be more affected? Her Juno doesn't sound like a teenager. She's a one-liner machine like the thirtyish screenwriter Diablo Cody, the ex stripper and phone-sex operator. After a while you notice all the people in the movie start to sound just like her.

— I like Kimya Dawson of Moldy Peaches, but her songs are glued to this movie like cutesy wallpaper.

— This movie sends the wrong message to teen girls about pregnancy: No problem, girl, just kick it old school and Jennifer Garner will take your baby, your parents will support you, and your boyfriend will still think you're hot. Yeah, right.

Juno wants to be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time. Is this movie running for President?

— It lost me the minute that squiggly onscreen handwriting came up to tell us the seasons.

— Bands like The Stooges and The Runaways, cartoons like Thundercats, splatter kings like Dario Argento and Herschell Gordon Lewis — how much fake hipster stuff can one movie namecheck?

— Two hours of snark wrapped up in phony tears. And that hamburger phone? That's one annoying doodle that can't be undid, home skillet.

— See this movie a second time and all the artificial writing about pork swords and having lunch in a trophy case gets you sick in the stomach and makes you puke.

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Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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