My most recent blog post at Planetizen.com explores how architecture and planning intermix with human relationships in the Oscar winning comedy "Juno."
The movie uses the urban landscape in clever ways to highlight the emotional journies of its key characters and relationships:
Many viewers may not fully appreciate movies as a visual story-telling medium, but that fact came home to me dramatically the other night while watching "Juno," the off beat, smart and funny film that just snagged a best screenplay Oscar. The deliberate use of architecture and public spaces, in particular, was quite effective although you probably won't find these references in plot summaries or synopses.
An enduring question in urban planning is the degree "place" influences our human interactions. While not social science, I believe "Juno" comes our firmly in favor of people over place.
At the end of the day, what is the relationship between people and place? The message, I think, is simple and relevant: People make places; places do not make people.