Film / June Bug
Released in 2005, Junebug
is an independent comedy-drama about newly-weds Madeleine and George.
Madeleine is an art dealer, and is pursuing a North-Carolinian painter for her outsider-art gallery, so the couple take this opportunity to visit George's family, who live close by.
June Bug provides examples of the following tropes:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Ashley, while Madeleine tries to help Johnny with his schoolwork.
- Accidental Misnaming: Madeline casually called Peg 'Pam' and 'Pat' at the beginning.
- Adult Fear: The death of the infant during childbirth.
- Alliterative Name: Johnny Johnsten. Junebug would have been this.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Ashley believes that the baby will solve her and Johnny's marital problems. Sadly, it didn't. But when she lost it, Johnny is seen on the phone to her asking if they could "try again".
- Bittersweet Ending: Ashley suffers a miscarriage and the character's situations aren't really resolved, but Johnny starts to show signs of caring for Ashley and George's family doesn't dislike Madeline.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three women; Peg (Blonde), Madeline (Brunette) and Redhead (Ashley).
- Cain and Abel: George is the successful brother who has an established career in Chicago and is adored by Peg. Johnny is the high school dropout who still lives at home and is looked down on by everyone. It's heavily implied that Peg favouring George drove them apart.
- Chekhov's Gun: Ashley's love of meerkats. She firsts mentions it during her excited ramble when meeting Madeleine. Johnny tries to tape a documentary for her about them, but it doesn't really work.
- The City vs. the Country: Madeline is a City Mouse in contrast to George's Country Mouse family. However, the film neither demonizes nor idealizes the city or the country.
- The Cutie: Ashley is so cheerfully lovable. Which makes any pain she goes through incredibly hard to bear.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: The final conversation between Peg and Madeleine has the former talking casually about George, implying she's warming to her new daughter-in-law.
- Foreshadowing: Johnny trying to tape a program about meerkats acts as foreshadowing that he does still love Ashley after all.
- Fourth Date Marriage: George and Madeleine married only after a week of knowing each other.
- Freudian Trio: The three main couples.
- Eugene and Peg (Ego)
- George and Madeline (Superego)
- Johnny and Ashley (Id)
- Gender-Blender Name: Ashley plans to name the baby Junebug if it's a girl - and still nickname it that if it turns out to be a boy.
- Genki Girl: Ashley often gets very excited.
- Heel Realization: While not necessarily evil, Johnny is an aloof and neglectful husband at the start of the film. After Ashley loses the baby, it's hinted that he is reminded of his love for her and wants to try and rebuild their relationship.
- High School Sweethearts: Johnny and Ashley, though not the happiest example.
- Infant Immortality: Depressingly averted.
- Insatiable Newlyweds: Madeleine and George's sex life is rampant, in contrast to the rest of George's family.
- Like Brother and Sister: Ashley is a real Morality Pet for George and he treats her as if she's his little sister throughout the film.
- Mood Whiplash: Ashley going into labor is a pretty standard enjoyable, humorous scene. It doesn't last long.
- Morality Pet: Ashley is clearly the pet of the family, not just George. It's she who bonds with Madeleine the most and the one who brings Peg's softer side come out.
- Not So Stoic: Peg is an ice queen for most of the film but bawls her eyes out when Ashley loses the baby.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever happened between brothers George and Johnny, it must have been very bad.
- Out-of-Character Moment: A scene shows Johnny at work - and he's a different person. He's happy and joking around, which a lot of viewers have taken as an indicator that Peg's influence is what makes him so sullen around the house.
- Parental Favouritism: George is clearly Peg's preferred son. If this extends to in-laws, then Ashley is also her preferred daughter-in-law.
- Parental Marriage Veto: George's parents seems to dislike his and Madeline's marriage.
- The Pollyanna: Ashley always finds way to be optimistic.
- Pom Pom Girl: Ashley wished to be a cheerleader in school but didn't make the squad.
- The Quiet One: Eugene is the quietest member of the family, rarely speaking to anyone.
- The Rainman: The Autistic painter Madeline is trying to hire.
- Running Gag: Eugene can't find his screwdriver, which he mentions at various points in the film. In one of the final scenes, Madeleine finds it in the baby's room.
- Secondary Character Title: Junebug is the name Ashley wants for the baby. Comes into Artifact Title after the depressing outcome.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Nothing really changes at the end of the movie, though it seems Johnny does care for Ashley and George's family doesn't dislike Madeline.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Eugene describes Peg as such.
- Wham Line: "Listen, we lost him."