Juno, first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody had the likes of Ellen Page, Michael Cera, high-school pregnancy, naughty language and an ending that could whisk a religious fundamentalist straight to movie heaven. Her next film, Jennifer's Body, tackled the horror-comedy genre and, while critically rebuffed, still proved pretty good fun. Then it was back to star wattage with Charlize Theron in Young Adult. Now Ms Cody adds first-time director to her screenwriting credits and comes up with what is her most mature work to date, PARADISE, which consequently received barely a theatrical release a few weeks ago and is already available on Netflix Steaming. Ah, the vagaries of the movie marketplace!
Electrick Children, about an innocent girl, brought up in a fundamentalist religion, suddenly up against the wiles of the devil in the big city -- that city in both cases being Las Vegas. Electrick Children is by far the better movie -- more original and unusual in every way -- but that does not mean that Paradise doesn't pack a lot of enjoyment and charm, as well. The writer/director, shown at left, while tamping down her penchant for motor-mouth obscenity (which, I admit, can be very funny), still comes up with some smart dialog and trenchant observations now and again, while leading her leading lady (played a bit too confidently by the very pretty Julianne Hough, shown below) through some interesting, growth-related coming-of-age paces.
Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, and is also available on DVD.