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Juno

A movie directed by Jason Reitman

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A totally average film, won't be great, won't be awful

  • Dec 4, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: Great ensemble cast, music

Cons: A dry wit that falls flat more often than not.

The Bottom Line:

This is the most average film I've seen in longer than I can remember.  It will likely not disappoint or amaze.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

I just didn’t quite get it especially since it is so close in narrative to another film.  Alan Reitman’s Juno wants to be funny and wants to be clever.  It almost gets there but falling flat half the time is why I wonder if this film was intended for a late teen audience, a thoughtful group of late teens, but limited to that all the same.  Think of it as a current teen version of Dead Poets Society a film from my adolescence that was pretty much intended for an audience of thoughtful teens.

The plot is extremely simple.  Juno (Ellen Page) is a lower middle class teenager who gets pregnant by her best friend.  She is faced with the same choices that all in that situation face.  [What I say next is not a plot spoiler] She decides to go to a clinic and opts out deciding to deliver the child to the world then to a childless couple.

That’s it.  Juno is not a plot driven story, and I like this.  The film is far more about the getting there than the “there” at the end.  The main problem here is that I’ve seen this movie before: The Opposite of Sex where Christina Ricci plays that movie’s version of Juno.   Both films are narrated by the main character, another teen pregnancy, another adoptive situation, and both with numerous quirky characters where the character is far less important than the relationship they have with others in the cast.

There were a few laugh out loud moments, but most of it is a dry wit that evokes a snicker for the quick witted but can be totally lost on someone expecting an oddball comedy.

The cast was a true ensemble.  Ms. Page doesn’t override the other actors in any scene and each actor is equally strong: Allison Janney, stepmother (one of my favorite actors); J.K. Simmons, father; Michael Cera, father of the child; Jennifer Garner, adoptive mother; and Jason Bateman, adoptive father.  If you like any of these actors, this film should be one that will not disappoint—it won’t be stellar in my opinion, but it will be adequate.

This movie does make up for something awful.  Ms. Page played the seriously snotty virago in Hard Candy which is one of my least favorite films.  The story was bad enough but her acting was what made the film almost unbearable.  Juno is her atonement.

Except for one item, this is the most average film I’ve seen in I don’t know how long.  Juno will now be the average film all against which all other movies will be measured.  I no longer remember the one used to this point, but I will use the private Juno-scale moving forward.

The one item is the music.  It is so simple and catchy.  Ms. Page and Mr. Cera perform the signature song and a host of other folk crossovers like Kimya Dawson, Belle and Sebastian and Mateo Messina keep the film from falling off the edge into complete boredom.

It doesn’t require careful attention, so it is a good film to fill a space of time calling for something easy to process.

Recommended:
Yes
 

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More Juno reviews
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Juno consists of equal portions of hilarity and compassion, satire and seriousness. It brings together very different genres and showcases that they can coexist without becoming overdone or ridiculous.      This movie tells the endearing story of Juno MacGuff, an offbeat 16 year old who must face the trying reality of being pregnant. Armed with the support of her preppy friend Leah, overwhelmed by parents Bren and Mac, and by best friend/ father of the baby, Paulie, she decides …
review by . July 27, 2010
   If you like Michael Cera and the Gilmore Girls you'll love this. Ellen Page's dialogue is fast-paced, unrealistic and annoying, Michael Cera is well.... Michael Cera which worked in Arrested Development and kind of in the steam pile that was SuperBad and that's about it.      (Spoilers, or saving you 90 minutes below depending on your outlook)         The movie is about an awkward teen (Cera) who knocks up one of those girls …
Quick Tip by . July 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Overall very good. Ellen page is amazing. Script is good, funny and quirky.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The movie is great because it is just a story without trying to be a morality piece. It's funny but it still pushes buttons. The writing is quality and the soundtrack is awesome.
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Ellen Paige gives an amazing performance. The plot is decent but the movie is over hyped
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I will never understand the hype this movie got while in theaters; it was a well-written movie but very slow and most parts. Ellen Page was charming.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I did not understand the big buzz on this film and I still dont
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie related to me very well because I had a child young but I choose to keep mine. I think this is a great movie to show young women I feel.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Way to go, Juno! You, too, Ellen. And Michael. And Diablo...
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Page's performance as well as the rest of the cast was very strong in this dark comedy about relationships, marriage, and teen pregnancy.
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Paul Savage ()
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About this movie

Wiki

Juno, a 2007 Academy Award winning comedy drama, tells the story of of an awkward high schooler Juno who becomes pregnant.  Upon her decision to keep the baby, she decides to give the baby up for adoption to a couple Vanessa and Mark.  Juno's relationship with the father of the baby (Paulie), Mark and Vanessa is focused on.

Directed by Jason Reitman, Juno is the story of pregnant teenager June (Ellen Page). The father is her passive high school friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). She decides to give the baby up for closed adoption to an affluent childless couple, Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa (Jennifer Garner). When Paulie asks another girl to the prom, Juno and he quarrel and they eventually come to realize they are in love with each other. Juno gives the baby up to Vanessa (Mark has split by this time), and Juno and Paulie become a regular teenage couple.

Somewhere between the sharp satire ofElectionand the rich human comedy ofYou Can Count On MeliesJuno, a sardonic but ultimately compassionate story of a pregnant teenage girl who wants to give her baby up for adoption. Social misfit Juno (Ellen Page,Hard Candy,X-Men: The Last Stand) protects herself with a caustic wit, but when she gets pregnant by her friend Paulie (Michael Cera,Superbad), Juno finds herself unwilling to terminate the pregnancy. When she chooses a couple who place a classified ad looking to adopt, Juno gets drawn further into their lives than she anticipated. ButJunois much more than...
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Details

Director: Jason Reitman
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: December 25, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Diablo Cody
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 36min
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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