Have you heard the story about Juno and its screenwriter Diablo Cody?
She’s born in Chicago. She grows up. She graduates from college. She moves to Minneapolis to join her boyfriend Jonny whom she met on the internet. She works in advertising. She finds it boring. She starts working as a stripper. She doesn't find it boring. She changes her name to Diablo Cody. She starts a blog called “The Pussy Ranch”. She becomes a phone sex operator. She writes a book called Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper. She quits the sex biz. She marries Jonny and moves to the suburbs. She meets a producer who tells her that she should write a screenplay. It takes her two whole months. The Juno screenplay somehow gets passed around all over Hollywood, and apparently, everyone wants to make it.
When Jason Reitman reads her script, he loves it and thinks, “Ya know, she really nailed the new nuclear family. In the movies, families used to be mom, pop and the kids. In real life today, it's often more complicated. You have stepparents, half-brothers and sisters, children of single mothers, every kind of family. But she doesn't write about this in a political way, just in an honest light.” He absolutely has to do it and even puts off his own script and film project. And now we have the soon-to-be-released Juno, which was a hit at the Toronto Film Festival.
But that’s not the story.
Here’s the story: of the screenplay and its author, Reitman said, “‘Sometimes I just had to trust her.’ He gave an example of a scene where Juno tries to commit suicide by hanging herself with licorice rope... ‘I didn't understand it,’ Reitman admitted, ‘but I figured if I loved her screenplay and it was in there, she must have known what she was doing. It gets one of the biggest laughs in the movie.’”
Can you believe that?
Trusting the instincts of a FIRST-TIME SCREENWRITER!
You’re an amazing guy, Jason Reitman.