Sunday, January 06, 2008


Prince's Pork ChopI always know that at almost any time of the day I can count on a fab blog entry from Prince Gomolvilas over at Bamboo Nation, who writes like a fiend and cracks me up about everything. So here it is at 2:00 in the morning, thinking for sure he wrote about his friend, Diablo Cody, winning the Best Writer award at tonight's Critic's Choice Awards on VH1 for that FABULOUS movie, Juno. (More on that in a minute :)

So I check my blog reader, yes, there's a post on Bamboo Nation, and I find out I WON PRINCE'S FIRST CONTEST! Yay! We had to guess the current weight of his cat, Pork Chop, star of his YouTube video series, "Weighing Pork Chop." Prince so kindly let us Filipino-Americans enter the contest (we Filipinos will win him over yet), and how fun, the prize was a subscription to WIRED (which I just happened to pick up the exact one he was advertising, the one with Masi Oka on it from Heroes).

So I guessed that dear Pork Chop gained weight, knowing that all that filming and prima donna treatment makes one put on the ounces...the MANY ounces. (Witness the GLORIOUS pictures of yours truly advertising the documentary I'm in at ANMT... YIKES.) And I won! Thanks, Prince!

Now speaking of WINNERS: Go see JUNO!

Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Ellen Page in JUNOI was already warmed up to this movie because of Prince's blogging about Diablo Cody, the 29-year-old writer, and even going to the LA premiere with her and her posse. (Go ahead and go to his blog, search for "Juno" and his posts are yummy.)

So I went with the right movie partner for this one (hi Jeffrey!) -- after all, he's one of the few friends around who knew me when I was in high school like Juno -- which we both realized was 30 years ago this year -- EEK!

Into the pouring rain we went, to the AMC Burbank 16 on a Saturday night at 7:35 pm -- prime time date night, which BTW, I NEVER do -- and OMG, it was packed! We had to sit in the last row of the biggest theatre -- which I also NEVER do... and I got a little worried:

"I thought we were seeing a little indie film?" I asked. This theater had weekend blockbuster numbers.

But within the first three minutes, I was howling and didn't care that the damn idiots next to me still had to answer their fucking phones... Juno is a wonderful character, wise beyond her years but with a big heart to go along with that huge brain and smart mouth. I love how I loved everyone in that damn movie -- and I have to say, for being a writer, I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what's gonna happen. Yet I was so "into it" there was one point in the movie I realized very consciously: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE'S GONNA DO. I was hooked. (And I LOVE how she gets her name, Juno... and Jason Bateman (ooh!) and Jennifer Garner (yes!) ... and Allison Janney and JK Simmons... oh dear, I can't stop...)

Sorry, Prince, you said it all so much better than I could have here, so I'm just gonna COPY and PASTE your wonderful insights -- hey, after all, YOU'RE the playwriting teacher, not me (hehe) -- and it shows with your comments :)

* The story's simple premise sets up expectations about how things will precisely unfold, but you'll be constantly surprised at how the film seems like it's about something but will then reveal that it's also about something else and then reveal that it's about something else too. With each new narrative and thematic layer, Juno burrows closer and closer to its—and your—heart.

* The characters you like eventually show unflattering sides, while the characters you dislike eventually show their tenderness. This is the mark of a writer with a humane and understanding eye—don't let that fierce exterior fool you, folks.

* One of the many things Juno is about is how people and circumstances slowly chip away at our pregnant heroine's tough, sarcastic veneer—and it's ironic that she learns to become an adult when she stops trying so hard to act like one.

I know this is Diablo Cody's year -- what a refreshing, real, smart and funny writer. Go see it and make her some more big bucks.

(Here's the Juno TRAILER :)