Thursday, August 18, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Movie Challenge -- Day 28

Day 28 – A Movie With a Celebrity Crush

Until recently, I didn’t play the Celebrity Crush game. In middle and high school, my dude friends had many-a poster of Carmen Electra or Demi Moore on their walls, while my chick friends adorned their lockers with pictures of Josh Hartnett and Justin Timberlake; in both cases, I substituted for fold-out posters I received in issues of Nintendo Power. Now, I’ve decided to indulge myself a little, and pay slightly more attention to projects from certain actresses. Today’s entry is one such film.

Juno (2007)

During Day 15, I went into a mini-rant about the modern Indie Film, and how I don’t care for the cleverer-than-thou, pretentious tones hanging in so many of them. So why the hell did I see Juno?! This film is exactly what I’m talking about when I point at what twerks me off about the whole genre: “different” (but not that different) story structure; sensitive, shy guy acting performances; “hip” and “clever” dialogue vernacular; SHIT soundtrack made up entirely of Neko Case-soundalikes. Yet I went and saw it anyway, and went to a good deal of trouble, too; my dad and I timed it so that we could theater-hop into National Treasure: Book of Dreams to see the Goofy short in front of that movie, then make our way to see Juno immediately after. Why, oh why, did I make such an effort to see a movie that, conceptually, should cause me to hurl myself off of the balcony, if only to end the smugness?

The first reason was Roger Ebert. The second was Ellen Paige.

Juno is the story of our eponymous character, a sixteen-year-old with a hamburger phone and a penchant for Sunny D. Juno wants to try sex, because, well, why not, and ends up getting pregnant in the process. She considers going to an abortion clinic, but decides against it, and makes plans with her parents (Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons) and her baby-daddy (Michael Cera) to keep it. The plot takes her to Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), a married couple looking to adopt, and the movie is a character study about how they all interact together.

Contrary to my diatribe-filled first paragraph, I actually didn’t mind Juno so much. Granted, the soundtrack had me casting around to see what sort of theater-floor refuse I could jam into my ears, and I did eventually tire of Juno’s notoriously clever-for-clever’s-sake quips, but the acting was solid across the board (Garner and Simmons in particular), and I thought the story was sweet and likeable. But if Roger Ebert’s four-star review didn’t carry me through the movie, Paige certainly did.

Though very, very "indie," I liked Juno, at least enough to be disappointed when it lost to No Country For Old Men in the 2007 Oscars.

Paige’s Juno is the Kind Of Girl that Boys Like Me tend to gravitate towards: independent, strong women who probably don’t ultimately need male companionship, but like it all-the-same. Paige herself has a kind of offbeat cool about her, and she seems like someone I would want to chill out and listen to music with (but not Neko Case!). Rather than a pie-in-the-sky hottie like Megan Fox or Jessica Alba, Ellen Paige is a down-to-earth, regular girl, and I find that rather attractive.

There are other starlets who are more physically attractive, but Ellen Paige has the most appealing personality out of my celebrity crushes, an attraction point that runs much deeper for me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to comb my bangs into my eyes and play some Fall Out Boy on Rock Band.

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