Juno is a great movie — but there’s something a little odd about the music.
So you haven’t seen the film? It’s about a 16 year old girl called Juno who gets herself pregnant. And yes … I can hear you. You’re saying, "Gets HERSELF pregnant! Isn’t there some male person who’s also a little bit responsible?" And of course you’re right — but you should see the movie.
Now, back to the music. Juno was written by Diablo Cody who’s famous for things we won’t go into here. When she was at high school, Cody fronted a punk band called Yak Spackle. And in the movie Juno has also been in a band and likes punk music. Throughout the film she talks about bands like the Stooges and how great the punk scene was in 1977. When she meets Mark — the story’s thirty-something underground rock, manga and horror film aficionado — they jam together in his home studio and talk about Sonic Youth, the Melvins and Nirvana.
But the funny thing is, the movie’s soundtrack is nothing like this. Sure there’s a Sonic Youth song and something by the Velvet Underground, but it’s Kimya Dawson who sets the tone. A member of anti-folk legends the Moldy Peaches, Dawson’s sweetly sung lyrics are a mixture of teenage whimsy and angst.
Kimya Dawson was Ellen Page‘s idea. Page plays the role of Juno. In an early meeting with director Jason Reitman, he asked her what kind of music she thought Juno would listen to. Page said the Moldy Peaches. She played him a sample and he was sold. He loved it.
While there’s nothing wrong with the choice of music, the soundtrack jars with the dialogue. Cody had originally envisaged a more aggressive punk sound for the movie. In an interview for Suicide Girls she says that relates to Mark’s character "probably more than any other character in the film besides Juno." Sure everyone who sees the movie hates him, but his band "opened for The Melvins!"