Monday, June 28, 2010

Cannonball Read Entry #29: Candy Girl - Diablo Cody

Back in 2007, a little movie called "Juno" came out to adoration of indie movie lovers everywhere. It was a well-written coming of age tale about a girl who grows up amidst an unplanned pregnancy and learns that yes Virginia, there is a Great Love. Hell, even Dan Carlson titled his review of it "I Didn’t Think I’d Find You Perfect In So Many Ways". Hell, if that's not a sparkling recommendation, I don't know what is.

But then Juno made the ultimate mistake in indie cinema: it became successful. The success of Juno was like blood in the water for prentious hipster snobs everywhere, who descended upon the movie and all those involved of the white-hot wrath that can only be fueled by Caffeine-Free Skinny Chai Tea Lattes, ironic facial hair and Apple products. Diablo Cody was a sell-out, the character of Juno was unrealistic, and the dialogue was "too quirky". What they didn't seem to realize was that Cody was simply good at her job, Juno's non-adherence to the traditional teenage model was what made her reliable in the first place, and that most people will never in their lives pen anything nearly as flawless as Juno.

In many ways, Cody's memoir, Candy Girl, confirms all of this. A veteran of north-western titty-emporiums, Cody's book goes into detail about her various stints as a stripper among the strip clubs in a small, white bread town. This is offset by her burgeoning romance with her eventual husband Johnny and her relationship with his daughter.

I'm sure this must come as a shock to you, but I found the entire thing to be absolutely brilliant. No lying here: Candy Girl was what inspired me to originally step into the world sex-for-cash. Say what you will, but in my mind Diablo was living breathing proof that someone could proudly wear the badge of a sex-worker and be accepted by mainstream society. Hell, they gave her an Oscar. A fucking Oscar dude.

For those concerned with whether or not Cody's uniquely floral speech pattern, well you better believe it's on, homeskillet. But much like Juno's preggo eggos, the cutesy quirks are meant to move the story along and establish her voice and personality, rather than a useless device meant to be clever for clever's sake.

Furthermore, the way she portrays her gig is never derogatory or judgmental; the way she sees it, it's just another job. Mind you, one with more money and less clothes, but a job nonetheless. Her departure from the game has nothing to do with a descent into drugs/booze/sex, but rather, a simple realization that she's just done with it. It's not for her anymore, so she's moving on.

If you're going to write off Juno or Candy Girl for anything, you're going to have to do a lot better than saying it's unrealistic. Or quirky. Or cutesy. Because guess what? All the best stories are.

1 comment:

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