2/21/2008

Things you can tell just by being married to her

The Dude and I have been fortunate enough to go to the movies twice this week. Twice. As in, more in three days than in the previous 8 months if not a period of time far exceeding that. The Dude shapes the minds of young adults, so he has had off this week for the half term holiday. We have been naughty and put P in nursery two half day sessions this week so we could shirk our paternal duties to watch films.

As we managed to see No Country for Old Men a few weeks ago and loved it (as Coen Brothers fans we were wont to do so), we opted for There Will Be Blood and Juno. From the first moment the titles appeared on screen for There Will Be Blood, The Nerd emerged. I am embarrassed to tell you what I did. Ok, I'll do it anyway - I inhaled deeply in reaction to my love of the title font. Yes, really. It gets worse. I then leaned over to The Dude, and in all seriousness said, "That is a fabulous font". My husband, no doubt instantly deflated that he married such a shameless fontoholic, just shook his head. Later he informed me that he was in no way surprised that I would notice such a thing, proving that he might actually know me after all.

Incidentally, did anyone see There Will Be Blood? When you got past the gorgeous font, what did you think of the movie? I was convinced by its scope, but I felt it was a bit hollow. It was this great, sweeping epic, but it just seemed rather empty when the conclusion arrived. I admire Daniel Day Lewis and thought he did wonderfully, but that voice...what was that? I found it hard to focus on much else, plus of course the magnificence of the font kept haunting me.

Today we saw Juno. The Dude only needed to hear the first few lines of the introductory song before leaning over and said, "I know what you will be downloading tonight", and he knows my musical leanings far too well, because guess what I just downloaded? Well, uh, the whole album in fact, but I am also addicted to this song. It's no There Will Be Blood font, but it's some good stuff.

I have been dying to see Juno since I watched a trailer many months ago. I love Michael Cera and Jason Bateman, as I can't seem to let go of the whole Arrested Development thing. Add the clever dialogue and I was so in there. Last month I was reading some anti-Juno backlash over at Cecily's, and began to wonder if I really would like the film after all, as a bitter ex-infertile and blogger in a circle acutely familiar with the issues at hand.

I won't spend paragraphs rehashing what was said, as it's worth having a good read of the comments if you haven't already, but the gist was how the movie reeked of untruths and cliche. Witty, unnaturally clever teenage mother shunning abortion in favour of what seemed to be an uncomplicated adoption - a notion that wouldn't really send this community running to the theatres.

I happened to love the movie. I can see how people would dislike it, but for me, it's just a film. Why should I have grand expectations that it will fairly represent the issues surrounding infertility, teen pregnancy, abortion and adoption? Is there even a way these subjects could be dealt with which would make everyone who has been affected by them happy? Hardly. For me, Juno doesn't try to be a masterful thesis on this group of serious matters, it's just a comedy. Why does it have to bear the heavy weight of our own baggage?

I might land myself on a list of Most Hated Bloggers for saying this, but here goes. We are a sensitive lot - we find and note errors all the time in articles from reputable news agencies (I'm talking to you BBC!) which talk about embryo "implantation" rather than "transfer". We can't see a pregnant woman without feeling a pang of jealousy and resentment. We, seemingly, can't watch a light-hearted movie about a serious issue without finding flaws which block any enjoyment that may have been had. Sometimes, I think we should just get over ourselves and take in the world like most people do.

It bothers me that infertility has granted me the inability to be normal. My experiences mean that I will always note inncorrect usage of "implantation", and I will always look at pregnant women and wonder if they had a journey to get there or if it they just got lucky. I will never be the woman who doesn't know the difference between "implantation" and "transferring" embryos, and I will never be the woman who doesn't even notice the passing of a pregnant belly.

I enjoyed Juno as a woman almost without baggage. I didn't mull over the intricacies of actual adoptions and the film's lack of accuracy, because I don't always want to be the outsider noticing details, details, details all the time and measuring their accuracy. As it was, I filled the role of outsider when relating to Jennifer Garner's character, and cried a few times during her scenes. I related to her character as an infertile woman, and later as a mother.

It's late, I'm tired, and though I no longer have eyes weeping pus, this post is lacking in coherency. I apologise. I really should have left writing about it until I was a bit more aware, but god knows when that would actually be. At any rate, thoughts on Juno? Preferably without getting into all the technical adoption talk that went on over at Cecily's. I don't need all of that shit.

Even if you hated Juno or have no intention of seeing it, check out the soundtrack. My music pleadings are always completely ignored, so I might as well be talk about fonts for three pages or something. I'm going to go to bed now and dream about fonts. I promise I'll shut the fuck up about fonts from now on too, having clearly exhausted my font-talk quota for life.

23 comments:

Jen said...

You know, I also cried a bit over Jennifer Garner's character and how much it reminded me of that naked, needy stage I used to know so well.

I really liked Juno, and managed not to bring much baggage to it, and was able to view it as just really good entertainment.

Then again, last week a friend included me in a group email that was supposed to just be silly and light, about crafting and having kids, and all I could see was the (probably nonexistent) subtext "but you can't have kids so easily, CAN YOU?!?"

Jenn said...

I haven't seen it precisely for the reasons you said. It looks like a movie I would have enjoyed pre-IF days. Now, I don't think I'd enjoy it so much.

I think to some extent we do need to get over ourselves and realize the rest of the world hasn't gone through these experiences. That said, sometimes it's pretty damn impossible to get over it. I was making a lot of progress towards that, but with recent setbacks in wanting and not being able to have more, I'm almost right back where I started.

Vacant Uterus said...

I haven't watched Juno yet and I'm not sure when I'll get the chance. But I really loved what you said about taking the film at face value and leaving the baggage aside for just a moment. I'm just getting to the point where I can (maybe, kind of) do that again. I would very much like to go see a film one day as a regular, unscarred, normal person.

I do think it's important to strive for eduction about issues though and films like Juno can spur good conversation. I'd rather see that conversation take place with the people I know in the flesh, though. If I can sit down with my aunt over a cup of tea and tell her all about adoption issues in a gentle and non-confrontational way, I think that serves a purpose. I don't know. I think I'm rambling here. I'm very tired.

Main point: I really liked what you said. You write good. *brain splutters to a stop*

EJW said...

I thought Jen Garner was wonderful in Juno. Ellen Page may be getting all the press, but I thought the character of Vanessa stole the show. (I'm sure it's that I identified with her most closely.)

I liked the film quite a bit. Sure, it glossed over the details of adoption, it also glossed over labor and delivery. It's a movie, it's supposed to. That's not the point.

Amyesq said...

I am sure it is a very good movie. All the critics say so. And I can objectively look at it and say "It is entertainment. It doesn't have to be profound (although accurate would be good) and I am glad lots of people like it.

But I have too much baggage, both IF and adoption. So I won't be seeing it because I know I couldn't watch it through innocent eyes.

Sassy said...

As we're just starting to move towards adoption after deciding not continue ttc I was worried about seeing Juno. But I loved it. There were a few bits that struck close to home - talking to the belly for example - but on the whole I was able to really appreciate it for what it was.

My husband also enjoyed it and we both agreed that for a film it did pretty well at representing something that the majority of the audience have no clue about. And the soundtrack is awesome.

Really I don't see how it could have been better. This wasn't a heavy film and any more pain and 'issues' would have weighed it down. I thought the ending was appropriate and I loved that this wasn't a perfect world.

While I understand and appreciate people wanting the 'correct' representation of infertility and adoption, Juno isn't the place for that. It's fiction not 'reality' tv.

ms.bri said...

I loved it, too. I don't know if I would have before I had Beck, though. But I might have. I never really felt like it meant to cover all the issues in some clear and honest way. It was about a teenager. It was a little bit teen movie-ish and that was cool with me.

Eva said...

I think you make a lot of good points here. I think I would enjoy Juno now and (mostly) take it at face value. But I'm pretty sure I would have had a harder time before getting pregnant. In that period of time, every movie managed to freak me out with what my friend has dubbed "hidden pregnancy storylines" (Brokeback Mountain... isn't this supposed to be about gay men? Fever Pitch... a baseball comedy? March of the Penguins... you mean the whole theme is protecting unborn children?).

I was also struck by something you said: "It bothers me that infertility has granted me the inability to be normal." I agree, sometimes this sucks. But I think sometimes it makes us more caring people. Because I don't automatically ask a childless woman "when do you think you'll have kids?" I notice the forlorn look in someone's eyes as they see pregnant women go by and figure out a gentle way to inquire. I'm careful about discussing pregnancy and babies with people who might be longing for their own. And that sensitivity, I think that's a great thing.

Definitely not disagreeing with you, just mentioning the flip side.

B. Mare said...

Haven't seen the film but...

Please, do talk about fonts. Do! There can never be too much font talk- in fact, I feel a curious trembling in my nethers just from the mere mention of the word. Fooooont.

PJ said...

The Moldy Peaches rock!!!

I agree with where you're coming from on all fronts. Infertility not allowing you to see things normally because I totally understood and related to the Jennifer Garner character. I bawled during the talking to the belly scene. And also the taking the movie on purely entertainment value. It had witty (completely and totally unrealistic, but still witty) dialogue and was well acted.

PiquantMolly said...

I haven't seen the movie, but I love the There Will Be Blood font and, believe it or not, when I saw the commercial for it I leaned over to Brad and said, "That's like the New York Times font. It's awesome."

So there.

Haven't seen Juno yet. I don't know what I'll think if I do.

calliope said...

I miss movies! I haven't been able to go to the cinema in years. Well I guess I could go...but I am certain I would fall asleep. I have to just diligently add things to my netflix list and wait. grumble.

I LOVE that you noticed a font.

As for the sensitivity from IF- gawd do I effing hate it. I used to be such a hard ass and now I take every thing so damn personally. It drives me nuts that I am a weeping, sobbing mess of a woman. ugh

May said...

Oohh, fonts. Fonts fonts fonts. Feel the fonty love. Mmmmm.

I am perfectly happy to enjoy Juno as a sweet feelgood movie, which will allow me to explain why adoption isn't that easy really, should anyone ask.

I hate feeling weepy and self-pitying at every pregnant belly. It would be so nice not to. And I'd always hoped I'd be a person of startling moral fibre with an upper lip of iron, and be UNBOTHERED. Alas, I am a frail human, and damn, but it's too easy to mind. Must go back to doing upper-lip press-ups.

Melissa said...

Have not seen either movie, or any movie in a theater in a looong time, but...FONTS. I love fonts and always look at the font of a book before I buy it. My husband once gave me fonts for my birthday and I was thrilled.

Anita said...

I haven't seen the movie yet, I'm too cheap to spend 15$ for a ticket. I'll wait until it's out on the Movie Network.

From one font whore to another ... I knew there was more then one reason I liked you!

Kristi said...

I saw Juno a few weeks ago, and I loved it too. While I wasn't able to leave all my baggage in the parking lot (I really bristled at Juno's dad's line about "baby-starved wingnuts" when he was telling Juno he would accompany her to Vanessa's) I was able to appreciate the movie for what it was- a movie, and not a documentary on IF, adoptions, teenage pregnancy, etc. And that last scene with Vanessa and her son? Bawled. Buckets.

rockmama said...

My old computer actually ran a hell of a lot slower because of font-whoredom. My favorite ones at the moment are called MA Sexy and Sterofidelic. (The later is the one that I use on my blog)

My favorite fonts in the media? The combination they use on the Hotels.com commercial. They look wicked together.

Magpie said...

i love it when you talk about fonts :)

i haven't been to the movies in years. i think i'd like to see juno.

The Town Criers said...

I always wondered why they put a colophon in the back of some books. And now I know. They put them there for you :-) Can that be a new term? You font-lovah (not to be confused with the more proper font lover).

I have a funny story about that opening song. Barry Louis Polisar (the singer) lives in our town and we grew up going to his concerts. They were very controversial and some schools banned his records, but my parents loved him and bought us every album. When I was in high school, I started going to his concerts again and we'd sit in the front row, all dressed up. It would be mums and little kids and my 16-year-old friends. And after showing up at so many concerts and always sitting in the front row, he dedicated a song to us and signed the records we brought. Such a kids' musician groupie...

Major Bedhead said...

See, you are about infertility inaccuracies the way I am about type 1 diabetes inaccuracies. They drive me mad and while they don't figure too heavily in pop culture, it's in the media all. the. fucking. time and it drives me infuckingSANE to hear/read thing reported incorrectly.

But anyway.

I haven't seen a movie in months and there seem to be so many good ones out now. I may have to go see these just because everyone is raving.

And I, too, have a fondness for fonts.

loribeth said...

Here from Mel's blog. Dh & I went to see Juno before the Oscars yesterday. I was nervous about it, given the subject matter, but hearing good things about it from some other infertility bloggers reassured me. And I loved it. Yes, I cried in just about every one of Jennifer Garner's scenes, but I probably laughed more overall. The treatment of both adoption & abortion didn't really bother me. I think what bothered me the most was the fact that a smart kid like Juno didn't use birth control & got pregnant in the first place. But then there wouldn't have been a movie, right?

candy said...

fonts!!!

found you from mel's blog and i think i fell in love with you immediately when i read about your fondness for fonts and then your love for arrested development. same reason i saw juno: michael cera and jason bateman.

i loved juno. we adopted older children, so i guess it wasn't as close to home as it would be for most IFers out there. i really like how you put it -- "It bothers me that infertility has granted me the inability to be normal." yes, being an infertile woman who has adopted, i saw juno. but i didn't put a lot into it, or get upset that it wasn't "realistic;" it was a fictional comedy after all. and i found it to be wonderful. and i loved the music.

after this post i now have to go read more, and most likely add you to my blogroll so that i don't forget where you are...

www.candysland.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Lurker de-lurking here.

I love your blog, btw.

And, loribeth, I don't think the movie ever said she didn't use birth control. She could've used it incorrectly....