Moviegeek5: Diablo Cody
Smash hit Juno (2007) instantly brought fame to two people: Young Ellen Page who portrayed the pregnant teen in the movie with sarcasm and wit and Brook Busey-Maurio who wrote the witty dialogue for the teen part. Off course, you may better know her under her pen name Diablo Cody. The real life Cinderella who went from stripper to Oscar winning writer in what seemed like a flash, the talented writer came from nowhere and was instantly on everyone’s lips after her feature film took the world with storm. Since then she has continued to bring us screenplays with strong female characters and a certain warmth brought forward by her ability to write characters that feels real and is easy to fall for. To celebrate her 40th birthday we bring a Moviegeek5 of her work over the years.
The movie that started it all. From no one knowing about her, Cody became an almost household name over night, when this bright indie age-of-coming movie hit the screens. Cody’s smart script showed a certain understanding for the age of the main character and the casting of Ellen Page to bring life to her turned out to be a stroke of genius. The serious theme of teenage pregnancy is delicately handled by making the unfortunate teen an independent and strong character, who doesn’t let life knock her out easily. It never glamorizes the situation, but shows the problems with humour through Juno’s refreshingly snappy comments and take-no-shot attitude. The movie won several prizes, among others an Oscar to Cody for best screenplay and is ranked high on several lists of best comedies.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Cody followed her teen comedy with a horror comedy. Though never getting close to the success of its predecessor, the movie shows Cody’s sense for writing dialogue wasn’t a one-hit-wonder. With more depth than many movies in the genre master, Jennifer’s Body deals with the complex relationships between friends, young love and popularity or lack of in school. Once again its strong female characters are a tribute to female empowerment led by strong performances by Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. With a nice balance between horror and comedy the story is played straight but with a suitable edge to it. Wicked and emotional at once, the movie has the same realistic characters Cody already became synonym with with Juno and is a movie one could imagine will only gather more and more followers who will appreciate it for what it is.
Young Adult (2011)
With Young Adult Cody returned to working with Jason Reitman who also directed Juno. Mavis in Young Adult is not the strong female character previously spotted in Cody-scripted movies, but she certainly does feel just as real. At first look it is hard to like Mavis, but the character is so well written and has so much depth, that you get under the skin of her and starts noticing how bad she feels about herself. It is, if nothing else, an exceptional character study of a type of person most people will recognize to some degree or other but also a comedy of the type, that doesn’t really make you feel good, but it definitely makes you feel. Charlize Theron delivers a power presentation, especially in her scenes with Patton Oswalt, whose emotional performance gives so much heart to the movie.
With Paradise Cody took to directing her own story and created this charming little movie, which has been highly underappreciated. Starring Julianne Hough in another strong female character from Cody, the movie is a delightful look at the sins of today, seen through the eager eyes of a girl about as innocent as they come. Not afraid to make you cry in between the laughs, Paradise moves easily between witty dialogue and tragedy, as a night in Vegas created bonds between unlikely friends. If you haven’t seen this, and there is a great chance you have, make an effort to try catching this little gem.
Ricki and the Flash (2015)
With Ricki and the Flash Cody created another complex female character, even an ageing one, something seen rather rarely in the movie world. Written with Meryl Streep in mind, this movie is owned by the actress named the greatest actress of our time on several occasions, and Streep sells Ricki to us in a heartbeat. There is something refreshing about watching a female character punished for putting her career first, knowing it is about time someone touched the subject of why men are allowed the same without being hated by society. During the movie we get the full grasp of the prize Ricki’s decision has cost her, as she reflects over what she has achieved and Streep portrays the aging rock singer with great presence and show stealing attitude. A heartwarming and wonderful movie about taking chances.