Sure, Hollywood has occasionally served up edgy female outcasts, such as Winona Ryder in Heathers or the forlorn geek girls in Ghost World played by Scarlett Johansson and Thora Birch. But those characters were more weirdos than antiheroes. - EW's Juno article
Dismissing a film's predecessors (whom it obviously owes a LOT to, btw) and insinuating that Juno McGuff is somehow better than Veronica, Enid and Rebecca in two throwaway lines? Nice one, Entertainment Weekly. I don't buy that Juno is an antihero (this is one of the many threads not fully developed in the film - she's presented as this 'wacky loner!' but is then, inexplicably, best friends with a cheerleader, not traditionally the company kept by cinema's oddballs), but she is sarcastic and intelligent and funny, like the girls in Ghost World and Heathers. Blithely chucking away their legacy as "more weirdos than antiheroes" - could somebody clarify what the hell that means? - is just rude and dishonest.
I liked Juno. I liked it a lot, actually. But I have one large quibble with it; Ellen Page's smart-alecky Juno is not the definitive voice of my generation. I'm two years older than Juno and her friends were supposed to be in the film, but if anyone had ever said "Honest to blog?" to me, I would've been horrified. Same goes from the forced ebonics that are so laboriously ladled onto the script, in a film utterly devoid of black characters or black culture, it just looks embarrassing. I'm less appallled by the barrage of pop-culture references, everyone has certain films/tv programmes/whatevers that they quote from, regularly and often tediously, (why hello Mean Girls!) but it's not the be-all and end-all of a person's character. I liked Juno best when she was chatting honestly with her father or Bleeker, rather than namedropping Iggy Pop. It's a frivolous worry, but I'm concerned that Juno's tastes will be absorbed by osmosis by teenagers who couldn't be bothered formulating their own. A generation of girls who assume Sonic Youth are "just a bunch of noise"? Noooooo!*
But back to the original article. Like Juno, Veronica, Enid and Rebecca were all smart, individualistic girls with their own set of problems, interests and quirks. Acting like Juno is somehow a superior, more accurate portrayal of being a teenager is ridiculous. In my opinion, the earlier three were better developed characters, less like a fictionalised version of a smart-aleck teenager, more real and true-to-life; but in the Great Big Cinema High-School In The Sky, they'd all probably get along (or, at least have grudging respect for each other). Lord knows we already have a small enough number of interesting teenage girls in the movies; there's enough for one more without throwing the others out.
*I'm partly joking about this. The music of Juno is a topic for a whole other blog post, but the ragging on Sonic Youth was uncalled for!