The constant wrangling we see in The Romantics, directed and adapted from her own novel by Prozac Nation screenwriter Galt Neiderhoffer, might leave us emotionally drained if only we cared more, or perhaps knew more, about the characters at the heart of her talky melodrama.
This much we do know: A group of well-to-do Yalies have gathered along the picturesque Long Island shore for the marriage of ruggedly handsome Tom (Josh Duhamel) and his spoiled, emotionally distant bride-to-be Lila (Anna Paquin).
Has Juno backlash lasted this long? Early returns on the Rotten Tomatoes chat boards suggest so, as hysterical fanboys take turns skewering screenwriter Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning debut and predicting dire things indeed for her latest, the hugely entertaining horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body.
Bashing Juno? That’s so 2007. It’s true that Cody’s dialogue is sometimes gratingly self-satisfied, laced with glib pop-culture references and slang that sounds more scripted than organic. That hasn’t changed. But there is something approaching brilliance in Jennifer’s Body, her macabre tale of teenage friendship gone awry in the sleepy backwoods of Devil’s Creek, Minnesota.
Diablo Cody is living the Hollywood dream.
If that sounds trite, consider her circumstances. Born Brook Busey, Cody (who adopted her pen name in 2003 after repeatedly listening to "El Diablo" by the pop trio Arcadia while passing through Cody, Wyoming) attended parochial school in Illinois for 12 years before moving on to the University of Iowa. After graduating, she tore through a string of "dismal" jobs - among them, working as a secretary at a Chicago law firm and proofreading advertising copy for Minneapolis-area radio stations - until, on a whim, she took up stripping, often billing herself as Bonbon or Roxanne.