NFLX2019 March 8th: Juanita

Juanita. Clark Johnson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★

Oh, I haven’t bitched about the Netflix UX yet, have I?

Let the rant commence:

I loathe it. I go to the Netflix app and it says DOUUUNNG as loud as possible. Then I start thinking about what I’m going to watch and it starts auto-playing, with full sound, whatever Netflix product it’s decided I should watch. Then I search for what I really want to watch and select the movie, and I look around for some snacks… and it starts auto-playing, with full sound, the trailer for the movie I’m about to watch, because apparently I really enjoy having all movies I watch spoiled before I watch them. And then I hit play and I get the Netflix DOUUUUNG again and then the movie starts and I’m relatively safe for the duration of the movie. Almost, because three milliseconds after the end titles start rolling, while I’m digesting what I’ve seen, it shrinks the titles to a post stamp sized window and shows me a picture of what it wants me to watch next. I hit PAUSE in desperation, but that just makes it start playing whatever that was, DOOOOUNG, and we’re off on a Netflix Original TV series and I’m AAAAAAAAH

Using Netflix is like having an enthusiastic retarded deaf hillbilly shovelling manure into my every orifice given the slightest chance.

ANYWAY.

This is a really sweet little movie. I guess you could say that it, too, like many of these Netflix flicks, seems a bit calculated to service a particular demographic. And, once again, it’s got road trip elements, as several of the previous movies.

But it’s fresh and original and has some great actors. I totally buy into the protagonist, and her fantasies about Blair Underwood (played by Blair Underwood) are hilarious.

Oh, right! Now I know what this reminds me of: Percy Adlon’s Out of Rosenheim/Bagdad Cafe with Marianne Sägebrecht and CCH Pounder. It’s got the same mixes of fantasy and reality and the same basic plot of a woman leaving home and going to a random restaurant in the middle of the middle of nowhere, where she’s the catalyst for changing the lives of the people there.

I adore Out of Rosenheim so I love that they’ve taken that as an inspiration. But Adlon is a master of heaping on the emotions without getting maudlin. Clark Johnson isn’t, so we occasionally tip over into So Much Drama. And there’s some pacing problems in the last third of the movie.

No biggie: This movie is a delight to watch.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

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