Juno (2007)

juno poster 2007 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner

Rainn Wilson cameo, wish Juno talked different than everyone in the movie instead of everyone talking like her

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Juno

Studio:  Mandate Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  September 1, 2007 (Telluride)/December 5, 2007

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

juno-pipe

Who’s up for some shenanigans?

Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) has made a mistake.  During a night of hanging out with her boyfriend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), they slept together resulting in an unplanned pregnancy.  Now Juno has some deciding to do.  With the support of her father (J.K. Simmons) and stepmother (Allison Janney), Juno decides to have the baby and give it to Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner).  The pregnancy continues and things get tougher than Juno ever thought possible.

Directed by Jason Reitman, Juno is a teen comedy.  The film scripted by Diablo Cody (a former blogger turned screenwriter) won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.  The movie also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress (Ellen Page) along with topping the list of many critics.

Juno was a movie with lots of buzz when it was released.  The film was clever and smart and different from a lot of teen comedies at the time.  Juno still remains one of the stronger outings in movies that tried to emulate Juno after its release.

juno-garner

Listen kid…If you take this baby away, I’m going to go all Alias on you…maybe even Elektra

The movie was propelled by a great lead character.  Ellen Page gives her real life and her strange style of talk makes her a stand-out.  She’s got spirit and spunk and is an original.  Despite this exuberant personality, she is sometimes tender like at the end of the film, and the characters hormones give the character the opportunity to really swing through a lot of different emotions.  Page already showed some acting chops in the independent film Hard Candy, but Juno really made her a star.  It can however be a bit hard to follow Juno clever banter as the movie starts with the lingo heavy talk.

While the banter makes the movie, it also hinders it a bit I think.  If Juno was an aberration, her talk would be even more interesting.  No one would understand Juno and make her an outsider for being different (which granted she already is).  Unfortunately, everyone in the movie (including adults) seem to be able to talk like Juno.  Her friends, her parents and even the store clerk (in an unnecessary appearance by Rainn Wilson) all speak Juno.  I found that a bit over the top, but it did allowed for a more clever writing.

juno-playing

Remember when I had that baby? Yeah…that was a weird year.

Everyone is strong in Juno.  Janney and Simmons are great as her parents who take a supportive attitude toward Juno’s “problem”.  Michael Cera plays the same character he always plays, and he does it well.  Jason Bateman flips his role through the movie and changes from a nice guy to a kind of a villain.  The real surprise for me is Jennifer Garner who I generally don’t like and her very real easy-to-hate-yuppie Vanessa who still has a great emotional moments.

The music for Juno also helped sell the film.  The soundtrack was a big hit.  The Moldy Peaches were recommended by Ellen Page and other artists really meshed well with the script and Juno character.  Much like a movie like The Graduate, The Breakfast Club, Pulp Fiction, or Garden State, the soundtrack almost becomes another character in the story.

Juno is an entertaining film despite the kind of unrealistic style of talk by most of the characters.  It can be forgiven by being a smartly written story.  There was some controversy over Juno’s cavalier attitude toward being pregnant and choosing to give birth during high school, but it is a comedy and not meant to be realistic (which is why I can forgive the all the lingo)…it is worth it for the shenanigans.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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