I rented Juno and couldn’t watch the whole thing. The dialogue sounded so fake and contrived and the characters weren’t that endearing or real. In fact I wanted to smack Juno she was so snotty and full of throwaway witticisms. She talked like a disaffected 30-something, not like a 16 year old girl. And almost everyone talked like that, not just the one character. A lot of people loved the film and found it endearing, though – the little pregnant teen with a salty tongue that could. Maybe if I went to the movies to see it I would have sat through it and liked it despite my skepticism. It even won the Oscar for best screenplay and many thought it was one of the most original and funny movies last year.
We haven’t heard much from Juno screenwriter and former stripper Diablo Cody, and after the glow of winning her Oscar has worn off she has decided to set the people who don’t like her little gem of a film straight. She blogged that no matter what you say about her, her life’s pretty good. It’s pretty obvious that it profoundly bothers her that she’s not universally loved.
A while back, there was a thoughtful article in the above-mentioned publication [Variety] about Ellen Page and myself. The article was mostly about how passionately some people hate me. As I explained to my therapist the following day (ha) it’s kind of weird to read something like that about yourself. On one hand, you feel defensive. On the other hand, you feel puzzled. You feel compelled to identify what it is about you that might inspire such vitriol. (I personally suspect the hate isn’t that widespread; it’s just loud.)
I thought about it. For months. I even wrote a screenplay on the theme. And then, finally, I figured it out.
I have a response to those who are still boring enough to lob insults in my direction. (Those of you who are friends, fans, enablers, or dislike my writing for legitimate, rational, nonpersonal reasons can tune out now if you like. This isn’t for you.)
Anyone else? Bend thine ear:
I am not Charlie Kaufman or Sofia Coppola (much as I supplicate at their Cannes-weary feet.) I’m not Paul Thomas Anderson. I’m not even Paul W.S. Anderson. I am middle-class trash from the Midwest. I’m a competent nonfiction writer, an admittedly green screenwriter, and a product of Hollywood, USA. I am “Diablo Cody” and if you’re not a fan, go rent Prospero’s Books again and leave me the f*%$ alone.
I may have won 19 awards that you don’t feel I earned, but it’s neither original nor relevant to slag on Juno. Really. And you’re not some bold, singular voice of dissent, You are exactly like everyone else in your zeitgeisty-demo-lifestyle pod. You are even like me. (I, too, loved Arrested Development! Aren’t we a pretty pair of cultural mavericks? Hey, let’s go bitch about how Black Kids are overrated!)
I’m sorry that while you were shooting your failed opus at Tisch, I was jamming toxic silicon toys up my ass for money. I get why you’re bitter. I took exactly one film class in college and– with the curious exception of the Douglas Sirk unit—it bored the shit out of me. I also once got busted for loudly crinkling a bag of Jujubes during a classroom screening of Vivre Sa Vie. I don’t deserve to be here. We’ve established that. But I’m here. Five million 12-year-olds think I’m Buck Henry. Accept it.
(Incidentally, if you were me for one day you’d crumble like f’ing Stilton. I am better at this than you. You’re not strong enough, Film_Fan78. Trust me.)
I’m sorry to all those violent, semi-literate fanboys who hate me for befriending their heroes. I can’t help it if your favorite writer, actor, director, or talk show host likes me. Maybe you would too, if we actually met.
I know my name is fake and that it annoys you. What, do you hate Queen Latifah and Rip Torn, too? Writers and entertainers have been using pseudonyms for years. Chances are, you’re spewing bile under an assumed screen name yourself. I’m sorry if you think I’m like some inked-up quasi-Suicide Girl derby cunt from 2002, but I like my fake name. It’s engraved on an Oscar. Yours isn’t.
Listen: I’ve been telling stories my whole life. Even when I was a phone sex operator, I was the Mark Twain of extemporaneous jerk-off fiction. I took every perspiring creep on a f’ing journey. I don’t know how to do anything else.
I’m going to make more movies and shows. I doubt they’ll all be good, but that’s the nature of this life. Even though the public only knows me from one book, one movie, and several aborted blogs, I’ve spent the last few years hustling like Iceberg Slim out here to prove myself professionally. The people I currently work for, and with, are more than pleased with my post-Juno output. My pilot was so good (thanks, Toni Colette!) that it got picked up for series. That is rare, children. That is blue-rare.
In summation: you try it.
This is the last I have to say on the subject, unless I’m provoked by a journalist in which case I’ll gladly reload. With relish, as Betty Rizzo might say. That said, I’m a 30-year-old woman with a dwindling interest in blog culture, and I don’t have time to address this bullshit every time one of my projects comes out. I’m in love, I just bought a house, and my boss made E.T. I kind of have to focus on reality.
And drinking. I have to focus on drinking.
[From Diablo Cody's Blog]
So she’s saying she knows she’s not worthy, but she’s rich, bitch, she works hard and she’ll keep at it. I guess that’s all she can do. When someone or something bugs the shit out of you, the best thing to do is ignore them. By going off about it you’re just kind of showing that it gets to you. You’re also making it seem like the people who were criticizing you must have been right on some level. No one was listening to them at this point, but now they are.