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Juno

A movie directed by Jason Reitman

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More Than a Little Weird, But I Like It! (Sort of)

  • Jul 12, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: See review.

Cons: See review.

The Bottom Line: In the end-game Juno is entertaining, but scratch below the surface and you will see a movie that none too realistic, at least in this America.

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

What can be said about Canadian actress Ellen Page within the paragraph’s of this review that have not already been said by countless silver-screen reviewers before me. She is a wonder, a lithe woman trapped in a girl’s body, but she owns the screen in every movie I have had the privilege of seeing her perform in. Such is the case with last year idiosyncratic movie that everyone seems to love Juno about a teenage girl, a baby in her belly, her reluctantly supportive parents, the couple who want to adopt the baby (sort of), and the unassuming boyfriend whom she loves, but is quick to deny it.

Much too has been made of the writer of this little movie (Juno) that could: Diablo Cody, an exotic dancer, now darling of the Hollywood movie scene. Ms. Cody proves once again that we humans are not the sum total of our jobs, and that often we are multi-faceted creature capable of so much more than given credit for.

The Story

Directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking) Juno is Juno MacGuff (Page) grungy wise-cracking 16-year old girl who recently had sex—for the first time—with her friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera – Arrested Development) an unassuming boy who fronts a garage band and runs track. He and Juno share a love of music and each other, though neither can pin a label on their feelings.

After the two have sex, Juno finds out she is pregnant. She wants to have an abortion, but rethinks the idea and decides to put the budding, growing human up for adoption. With the help and support of her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby – Kidnapped) Juno finds a couple in the Penny Saver to adopt the baby. The couple Vanessa and Mark Loring (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) are eager, perhaps too eager, the adopt Juno’s mistake, and as the story progresses Juno and Mark form a relationship built on their mutual love of music.

Meanwhile, Juno courageously tells her parents, Mac and Bren, portrayed by J.K. Simmons (Oz, Law & Order Special Victims Unit, The Closer) and Allison Janney (The West Wing, American Beauty, The Hours) of her condition, and though disappointed they support her.

My Thoughts
To say Juno is idiosyncratic is kind. Everything about this movie is decidedly off beat right down to the music, which after a while became annoying! We never gain insight into Juno’s inner thoughts, never learn what makes her seem jaded and far too cynical to be so young. And far too worldly for her age I might add. Juno’s actions seemed a little too mature for her age, a little too thoughtful and wise, as if the screen-writer, the aforementioned Ms. Cody forgot who she was writing about and interject a little too much of herself into her protagonist. What young adult, let alone hormonal teenager is as breathlessly self-aware as Juno?

That’s not to say Juno wasn’t enjoyable, it was, but the flaws in the canvas were apparent. Ellen Page turns is another stunning performance as the quick-witted pregnant teen who hatches the perfect plan to rid herself of the love-child only to watch it (almost) fall apart. It’s a delight to see Page at work; her face is so innocent looking, and yet…

Jennifer Garner as Vanessa is playing against type here; her characters are usually strong driven women, but here Garner portrays a vulnerable, sad woman in search of an identity, an identity only a baby can apparently give her. Garner’s Vanessa cannot have children of her own, for reason’s not explained in the movie, but she wants nothing more in her life than a cute cuddly baby. You know the type: she has read all the baby books and gone to all the baby classes, and he life will not be compete without a baby, or two, or three. Garner plays the role well; how could she miss there is not much substance to it.

In the end-game Juno is entertaining, but scratch below the surface and you will see a movie that none too realistic, at least in this America. In a society where teen girls have babies in public toilets and then casually go back to prom, and enter into bazaar pacts to raise their children together; need I say more? And what American teen, or even above average American adult can speak intelligently about China‘s Maternal and Infant Health Care Act?

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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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.
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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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...
view wiki

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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