Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Review: Juno

I'd heard only good things about Juno before I went to see it. And it lived up to everything I'd heard. It was clever, cute, very funny in parts. It was like an episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory gets pregnant, and hangs out with the cast of Freaks and Geeks. If that sounds appealing, then by all means, dive in. But let me offer a warning first.

I don't know how this detail escaped my attention, but this movie is about teen pregnancy, and will thus have lots of sex jokes. Honest, I don't know how I didn't think about that beforehand, but the first 15 minutes are occupied by material you might expect more from Knocked Up or Superbad. A few of the people I was with left the theater, and I can't blame them. I found myself cringing at the complete lack of taste or tact, but again, this is about 16 year olds.

Once that bit is out of the way, an actual story develops. Our heroine, the movie's namesake, played by Ellen Page, finds herself pregnant. Surprise! After some soul searching (to the depths that she is capable of) she decides to offer her offspring to the happiest couple she can find, played by the very talented Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. Michael Cera does a great job playing Pauly Bleeker, the young and surprised pop-to-be. He is one of the most genuine, sweet kids, a fitting contrast to sharp-tongued, occasionally bitter Juno.

The story is more or less about her growing, both in maturity and waist size. It's about her relationships with her pseudo-boyfriend (he is more a best friend), her parents, the prospective parents of her coming baby, and, of course, the baby itself.

The dialog is witty. I've been bothered before when a program is too witty, too quick. Like all the characters are trying to use humor to cover up emotional scars. I know I've already made the comparison, but Gilmore Girls seems to me like a town full of people who all have serious issues from their childhood that were never dealt with.
"I'll laugh away the pain, just like Robin Williams! Hahaha...Ha HAHAHA!!! I...I'm so lonely."
Juno heads that same direction, but escapes the same fate. The characters seem a little more believable, but still pretty cavalier about the whole situation. I suppose they were vindicated in the end, when everybody lives happily ever after. I can't imagine it's ever that easy in reality.


Mary said...

I liked Juno. But yeah it was really crass. It was annoying because suddenly an f-bomb would pop out nowhere. I think this would make an excellent film to see decaffeinated. Not much would be lost and a lot would be gained if they took out all the crud. (unlike Kill Bill where you have no idea what is going on.)

natter said...

Glad to hear your review. I think I felt about the same way as you about it. Some of it was really rough around the edges and I wasn't sure in the end that I would like it, but I did.

On the other hand, I completely disagree with you about Gilmore Girls.

Jake Black said...

Gotta get my kid here, first, but I'm *really* looking forward to Juno.

Austin said...

I stand by my statement on Gilmore Girls.