January 19, 2009
Why Cody Diablo Is Annoying
I wish it didn't take two paragraphs to explain, but it's a start:
More precocious than her elders, she swiftly discovered a knack for cheesing people off, largely because she is a creature of the times and because snark itself is her art, subject, and default mode. The ideal specimen of a Diablo Cody line will feature a tension between diction and form. Though assembled with a literary wit, it will drop either a pop-culture allusion (often chosen for its kitsch value) or slang that's just slightly anachronistic, and it will flaunt the casualness of the dropping. It is pleased with its own cleverness almost to the point of hostility, sneering as it snaps past.
So, here, we get, "Sometimes you make me feel like I'm living in a Lifetime lady-tampon movie"; "That dude is such a waste of hair product"; "I've been diggin' around your closest for an hour, and I still can't fuckin' get to Narnia"; "cluck-cluck" (as a synonym for fried chicken); "Sudoku" (as a racial slur); "Jell-O Pudding is for the children" (said in Bill Cosby's voice); and—this is T explaining how Tara found out that her daughter took a morning-after pill—"She went all CSI in that pubic thatch you call a backpack." For whatever reason, Cody has front-loaded her scripts with this stuff—is she trying to alienate the audience? Sitting through the grating first reel of Juno felt at times like a test of character, but I left the movie with a lump in my throat. Tara doesn't yet show the same emotional depth as Juno—not in its first four episodes, at least—but if you have the fortitude to make it through the tonal assault of its first 10 minutes, then you'll get to see some recognizable human feeling seep up through the wisecracks.
Posted by Paul at January 19, 2009 12:14 AM
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