When I'm at the pearly gates/This'll be on my videotape
Re: Juno's dialogue, I've been thinking lately, did Clueless get the same remarks when it came out? I don't quite remember but I don't think it did. Cluess was ahead of its time. And happy birthday!
Clueless used Valspeak, a recognized American sociolect, as the basis for its dialogue. As such, it was an example of pop sociolinguistics. Juno, on the other hand, derives its banter from rancid millennial hipster lingo as filtered through the mind of Diablo Cody, whose recent Entertainment Weekly column was kind of annoying. So. Apples and oranges.
Neal--John Rogers (Oberlin, '01) here. I just got a google e-mail account so I could drop you a note. Great work on the site so far; it is, of course, a pleasure to read. I thought of you the other day after leaving Juno with violently mixed feelings. On the one hand it's a really touching story isn't it; on the other, it's so damn fortified, processed, and pasteurized, it's like the Wonderbread equivalent of, well, any genre movie. (Not incidentally, Juno is so ridiculously white, from the cheeky pop-culture references--ooh! Sonic Youth!--to the town's homogenous population to the sport pursued diligently by Cera's character to the VERY PREMISE OF THE MOVIE.) It doesn't feel like the little movie that could: it feels like the big movie that probably wouldn't that created a little movie that could so that it would feel more authentic and feisty (see the Budweiser-owned "craft" brew phenomenon). Anyway, I googled your name to see if you had written about the romantic comedy in "post-AIDS" America (which is not to say that AIDS as a real hazard has been eradicated but that its abstract menace and millennial threat have, in a sense, been exorcized from our pop culture). Movies that once ended with a kiss and a declaration of affection now begin with fumbling, awkward sex (between near-strangers or platonic buddies) and go from there. If the bed-sheets are still pulled asphyxiatingly tight to armpits the next morning, the condom is definitely off. The rest of the world (Romania) can tell us about the real and existential horrors of unwanted pregnancy; we're SO over it.
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