Diablo Cody’s ‘Paradise’: Manic Pixie and the Napkin of Sin

The survivor of a horrific plane crash, Lamb wears compression body stockings over her burns and constantly taking pain pills

It probably says something about Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, ‘Paradise,’ that despite its creator’s celebrated career and feminist street-cred, it premiered and disappeared without me hearing a thing about it. And it’s easy to see why: ‘Paradise’ is cloying, tone-deaf and awkward, and such a perfect storm of awful and offensive that I’m kind of obsessed with figuring it out. How did Cody, who has written such memorable female characters fall so far off base with Lamb Mannerheim?

The Way We Talk: Cody’s ‘Paradise’ and Hess’ ‘Austenland’


When the trailers for Jerusha Hess’ Austenland and Diablo Cody’s Paradise first premiered, there was a lot of talk about the two young female directors and their debut films. Each woman had good credits, Cody for writing the academy award-winning script for Juno, and Hess for her work on the surprising cult-hit, Napoleon Dynamite.

At first, the hype was positive; Cody would hopefully turn out another witty conglomerate of social insight and angsty sarcasm and Hess might bring a quirky, women’s-focused comedy to the table.