Here’s a sterling defense of Diablo Cody from the legendary Molly Lambert at This Recording. (I have a bloggy girl-crush on her. She says what I think, and puts it so well!) The only thing that I would add regarding Ms. Cody is that overall, good for her. Good for her for getting noticed, getting out of the midwest, and finding success as a writer. I like her attitude, and how when faced with Superbad, she thinks “I’ll write my own screenplay from the girl perspective.” That’s rad. I may have had problems with Juno (let’s start with babies should be borned, since that wasn’t comedy based in wit), but at the least, it was a film starring a smart-girl protagonist. That doesn’t happen! It’s such a rarity!
Despite the fact that I do have my qualms and worries about Cody’s “anthopological” stripping past (the cheeky privilege-tourism aspect of it as well), and how that’s exploited–by Cody herself and the proletariat–in a way that’s sexist and horrifying and in a fashion that certainly affirms the patriarchy and in a fashion that I suspect doesn’t really leave a delicate wake behind for other female writers, despite the fact that she’s a merely okay writer so far (honestly, Juno could’ve stood to have a director that didn’t take it in a twee post-Wes Anderson direction and less slavish love-for-the-script), I have hopes for Cody, and hopes for girls trying to get smart lady films going in her wake.
Here is a link to a blog called My Stained Teeth, which is about wine and is run by a man who writes for McSweeney’s and was once the proprietor of one of the treasures of New England, The Lady Killigrew Cafe in Montague. Please go there. I’m going to miss it wildly when I move to New York in a week. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and I hope that I can live within twenty minutes of it someday. (I can tell I’m getting older–a wizened twentysomething!–as I’m developing a “retire to Northampton, MA” fantasy.) I love it in the Pioneer Valley, though, and I can certainly see myself living there at some point in the future.
As one of my best friends is a killer YA writer, I have been getting into YA books lately due to her influence. One author that rules would be Ms. Maureen Johnson. She writes a great blog, and her stories are relatively diverse tales about smart teen girls livin’ life, with fun and fantasy and good writing. I have plowed through her catalog and definitely stayed up all night reading stuff like 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Girl At Sea (super fun), and her best work, The Bermudez Triangle. Her new book, Suite Scarlett, looks totally dreamy. She’s certainly part of the cream of the YA crop.