The Best of the Best: Diablo Cody and her Directorial Debut
Award-winning Diablo Cody (Brooke M. Busey) is one of my favorite female writers of all time. Her characters are unapologetic, sloppy, flawed, and hilarious and I see little parts of myself in every single story she’s written. I feel like that’s true for everyone though, since her protagonists are so relatable to some degree.
Diablo doesn’t mess around. Back in Minnesota, she worked for an ad agency and stripped part time for fun. When she got a promotion, she realized she despised her job and decided to strip full time. Thus, her memoir Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper came to be. Before she wrote anything that made it to the big screen, Diablo wrote for Entertainment Weekly and started a few parody blogs that exploited the lives of a secretary and Russian immigrant. After writing Juno, Jennifer’s Body, Young Adult, and United States of Tara, Diablo is finally making her directorial debut with the movie Paradise and I AM SO EXCITED.
Paradise looks amazing. The movie is about a young girl who experiences an accident and is “barbecued in jet fuel”. The experience seems to change her entire perspective on life, so she abandons her church and seeks something that’s the polar opposite: Las Vegas. I already cried-laughed at the part in the trailer where Lamb (the heroine) sucks liquor up her nose in front of Russell Brand (who looks surprisingly lovable for once), so I’m confident this movie is going to be a hit.
And how could it not? Diablo’s other work is phenomenal; her fictional femmes are bad-ass. They may not always make the right decisions in life, but they always have the best come-backs. One of them even eats boys for breakfast. Let’s look back at some of Diablo’s leading ladies in anticipation for Paradise (out October 18).
1. Juno MacGuff
Juno was my everything in high-school. She won over my Bright Eyes and Diet Coke filled heart after she chugged a gallon of Sunny D in order to procure enough pee for her pregnancy test. Juno (played by Ellen Page) is clever, street-smart, and independent. She’s not the kind of girl who gets knocked up. But accidents happen, and Juno suggests that even strong, smart girls can fall into some unwanted situations, too. Juno handles her surprise pregnancy with fierce confidence; she makes it clear that she doesn’t need Paulie Bleeker (baby daddy and friend) and that she is altruistic enough to go through the pregnancy and give her baby away for adoption. On her own. Of course she has her best friend (Olivia Thirlby), her stepmom (Allison Janney, who rocks my world in every single movie!), and dad (J.K. Simmons) helping her out, but how she deals with her confusing feelings for Bleeker is a solo-project that is so adorable.
2. Jennifer Check
Jennifer in Jennifer’s Body is scary. And hot. She eats high-school guys after she’s seduced them, and she’s after her best friend’s (Amanda Seyfried) boyfriend too, which is such a social faux pas. But what can you do when you have special needs? After being abducted by some indie band members at a bar, normal cheerleader Jennifer turns into a flesh-eating monster who needs human meat in order to keep looking fresh. Okay, this is a dark comedy/horror film and maybe not Diablo’s best work, but watching Megan Fox throw up spiky black goo and eat people was kind of hilarious and refreshing. Plus, to me, the entire movie serves as a metaphor for feminists and empowered women. Jennifer is literally eating men. She’s like Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater”.
3. Mavis Gary
Young Adult is hilarious, sad, and poignant, so it’s basically the perfect movie. Mavis, a recently divorced YA writer, takes a trip back to her hometown to win back her high-school sweetheart. Except she’s delusional. But she’s trying to overcome her anxieties and fears, her rebellion against growing up and facing reality (she’s divorced, her teen series she writes for is coming to an end), and the only way she think she can combat all of that is to return home and basically regress. Mavis is a bitch. But she’s a determined bitch, who’s smart, funny, and has outgrown her small town. It just takes her awhile to figure out that going backwards isn’t the solution.
4. Tara Gregson
Tara is not perfect. Neither are her alternate personalities (T, Buck, Alice, Gimme, Shoshana, and Chicken). Diagnosed with DID (dissociative identity disorder) due to a traumatizing event that her different personalities are protecting her from, Tara tries to learn how to deal with raising a family, being a wife, friend, and sister. Let me just say – Toni Collette has the incredible ability to smoothly shift from stressed out, artsy mom to a proper 50’s house-wife like no other. Tara, like all of Diablo Cody’s female protagonists, is battling with not only herself, but six others. Plus her teenager daughter and son. Plus her husband (who is Aiden from Sex and the City aka John Corbett, who I’ve wanted to marry ever since Carrie Bradshaw stupidly dumped him). So yeah, Tara is one tough lady.
I have high hopes for Paradise because I know I’ll fall in love with Lamb as easily as I fell in love with all the other Diablo girls. I love when a female writer creates strong women who fight and overcome their inner battles through humor and adventure. So, here’s to Diablo Cody. Keep making your ladies sassy and tough as nails.