Juno: loved it, loved it, loved it.
But not, I think, why everyone else loved it. Yes, Ellen Page? Total cutie, and I would have totall wanted to be her friend in high school but would have been way to shy to think that I could be amusing enough to hang with her. And I love JK Simmons and Allison Janney.
But what grabbed me was Jennifer Garner and Justin Bateman as the would-be adoptive parents.
Shocker, I know. I hope you were sitting down on that one.
There was a review that I had read that talked about them and the words from the review that stuck with me--I can't even remember the context now, but they had called them "immature". But I never got that feeling. And I can't tell you how relieved I am about that.
The childless couple--the baby-crazy would-be mama--is really easy to parody, to have a pre-made image in your head about what they are going to be like. For instance, Tina Fey's new movie, Baby Mama. Which might make me throw up a little in my mouth. But my friends and family have done it, too. One asked me last summer, "So, are you, like, totally baby crazy, now?" And I've never thought of myself that way. And yet, I still answered yes. Not because I'm baby crazy--I wasn't buying baby clothes in preparation (and, oddly enough, I'm still not) or yplanning baby things or even trying on imaginary baby names--but just because I wanted one, constantly. Like a constant soundtrack in a movie, that desire was just always there. But I couldn't explain that at the time, in the noisy bar we were in, how that is, but it isn't, baby crazy.
The Jennifer Garner character reminded me of that. Of that really delicate balance you try to maintain, that game face that's almost always on, that doesn't deny your desire but also can't really let the full impact of it show. But how it sneaks out, at times. And how that's mistaken for blindness/baby crazy/immaturity. I was well impressed with the movie, how the sort of complexity of her desire wasn't simplified to snark or slapstick or pathos.
I've been thinking about it a lot because recently I've been sort of backhandedly(really, not so backhandedly) called "crazy" for the path we took to expand our family and I can't shake it. I can't shake how much it hurt to have months of agonizing about decisions, each new decision a new path of "Should we do this?" soul searching between me and Andrew, reduced to "crazy". I guess I'd not be surprised by that comment from a stranger who hadn't ever talked to me, but that's not the case here. I feel like a movie had more empathy for how unfriendly conception can be, and how personal the process is, than a friend.
In the end, I guess, it's a mindframe no one understand unless they are open to it. Blessed are they who try.