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In a world connected by YouTube, iTunes, and Facebook, Lola and her friends navigate the peer pressures of high school romance and friendship while dodging their sometimes overbearing and confused parents. When Lola's mom, Anne, "accidentally" reads her teenage daughter's racy journal, she realizes just how wide their communication gap has grown. Through hilarious and heartfelt moments between mother and daughter, LOL is a fresh coming-of-age story for modern times. Written by
I've got a Juno poster in my room. There! I'm smart now.
In the movie, LOL, the character, Lola, has a poster for the smash-hit, Juno, hanging in her bedroom. I know, I know. Analyzing a detail as small as this might sound nitpicky but just hear me out.
Juno was a movie about a teenager who addressed the people she loved and the people she had problems with, in person. Juno revealed an ultrasound picture of her baby to its future adoptive parents, in person. She laid out an entire living room set on Paulie Bleeker's front lawn, to tell him she was pregnant, in person. The reason its main character maintained quick-witted comebacks and came up with ironic allegories, at the drop of a hat, was because of her characteristic of going out and exploring new things. That movie was so refreshing because it took place in a world in which teenagers didn't constantly have the glow of a cell phone screen, reflecting off of their faces. In fact, there was only one part in the film involving a phone conversation between two people...and both sides had their phones plugged into a jack!
So why does LOL's mentioning of such a great movie bother me? Because its own message contradicts Diablo Cody's vision and her faith in teenagers. Cody believed in a world in which adolescents might actually look up from their gadgets, turn to each other and like, talk. Hell, there actually is a scene from Wall-E, in which two morbidly obese men favor looking at monitors with video feed each other, when they're in floating chairs, side by side. Juno spits in the face of such technological dependence.
LOL, on the other hand, condones the non-stop usage of iPods, Twitter and other sites of the moment. Its lead characters are so reliant of online social networks, where every sentence is simplified and shortened, that once they finally log off, they use phrases like "it's good to love someone so much it hurts." A line like that wouldn't even make it into Juno's deleted scenes section on the DVD. LOL celebrates the idea of kids, hunching their heads over a five by three inch screen all day long, as the rest of the world passes them by. Don't get me wrong - I'm well aware that there actually are teenagers in the world who are this overly consumed. With it being near impossible to find a person between the ages of 18 and 29 NOT on a phone within a three hour period of time, writer and director, Lisa Azuelos, isn't exactly making up fiction here. But to try to portray these hypnotized kids as deep thinking and complex is wrong. How could they have the drive to reflect on who they are when they don't even put effort into typing out full words into text messages? Like I said, it's fine for characters like these to exist because there are real world people like this. But don't try dragging another film down to your level when it boasts unexplained emotions, open for interpretation while your own best moment of self-reflection consists of the line "Every year, it's weird going back to school but here we are, just going with the flow". Oo-hoo-hoo, look out, Hemingway.
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