The Goddess Juno

One. I wanted to point out that Juno‘s weekend box office was $10,000,000. That’s million as in million. And weekend as in three days. Box office numbers mean nothing, merit-wise, of course. But I do relish a healthy payback for a big-hearted, smart/funny (I mean, hilarious), romantic film that leaves a killer script unmutilated, because maybe they’ll let someone else do that.

Two. (Spoilers) People can’t help weighing in on Juno’s cultural politics. Ann Hulbert, and then Ross, and then Ross’s critics have had their say on its treatment of abortion. Hulbert argues that the film defuses it’s rightward feint (the anti-abortion part) with a leftward feint (here’s the spoiler): allowing a single mother to adopt the baby. But that leftward feint also contains its own sly rightward feint: Diablo Cody’s script sets us up to side with the frustrated musician and would-be bohemian husband Mark (Jason Bateman) against the Stepfordly wife Vanessa (Jennifer Garner). Suburbia, wholesome motherlust, parental consumerism, etc. look ready for a send-up vis-à-vis authentic cultural dwelling. But, these wholesome things don’t, as they normally would, turn out to disqualify a character from a quirky little film’s sympathies and instead set us up for a terribly moving climax. Frankly, I don’t care if a film’s politics are rightish or leftish, as long as they aren’t fatuous and self-satisfied. I just liked seeing that smug movie schema upended.

Three. (Spoilers related to Two) Man, grunge-generation dads are really taking a beating these days. First Gossip Girl, now Juno: A late-thirties male character is portrayed as morose with lame nostalgia for a cultural scene that was already commodified when he participated in it, like, back in the nineties.