Monday, 18 February 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Cinematic: Juno

The best thing about Juno is, undoubtably, the fact that it has opened up the world of independent cinema to the masses. Whilst it is techinically an indie film, yes, it has had all the publicity, all the television spots and benefits of mainstream cinema. All the folk who would normally be off watching Definitely, Maybe or Knocked Up have seen these trailers and thought to themselves "Ooh, this looks cool.", with their definition of 'cool' simultaneously meaning 'fun' and 'fashionable'. Any person going into Juno with a cinema background knowledge based in the sugar-sweet world of Richard Curtis will no doubt come out of the cinema pleasantly surprised by this fresh take on the romantic-comedy/drama genres.

My housemate, who since seeing Juno has been only to see Jumper and Step Up 2, declared Juno to be the best film he's seen in 'one and a half to two years'.

But the thing is, it isn't. Not really, anyway. It's just that whilst Juno is fresh and witty and hilarious to your average cinema-goer, to anyone who has been enjoying independent films over the last few years will be experiencing nothing particularly new. If you want a really sweet and funny film, go watch Little Miss Sunshine. If you want a quirky soundtrack to define a generation, Garden State had that back in 2004. Even the smart dialogue is just Tarantino done in the style of Ghost World.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking down on people who love Juno because their most recent cinema trips have peaked at Over Her Dead Body - they are right to love Juno, it's a fantastic film with great acting and a superb soundtrack. It's just that it feels a little like a greatest hits of what makes independent cinema great - an advert for other films, perhaps. It is a fantastic film, and well worth seeing. But don't think it hasn't been done before...


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