Movies / Movie Reviews

Juno


By Mitch Emerson
December 21, 2007 - 10:23

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Title: Juno
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman
Directed By: Jason Reitman
Produced By: Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane, Daniel Dubiecki (II)
Genre: Comedy, Drama and Teen
Release Date: Various
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language.
Distributors: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Juno takes a serious situation and makes it extremely funny without crossing the line into absurdity, while also never letting you forget that teen pregnancy is not a joking matter. Sixteen year old Juno (Ellen Page) gets pregnant by best friend Paul Bleeker (Michael Cera) and decides to give the baby up for adoption to couple Vanessa and Mark Loring (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman). While dealing with her pregnancy Juno must also contend with her rather cool parents and figure out her feelings towards Bleeker. Things go from bad to worse when problems between Mark and Vanessa cast a shadow over Juno's hopes. All of this adds up to be one of the best movies of the year.

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Following up 2005's Thank You For Smoking, Jason Reitman, son of director Ivan Reitman, shows that he has inherited his father's talent for comedy. A rather quirky film that should appeal to todays audiences with it's wit, likeable if not lovable characters portrayed by a perfect cast, and way too many comedic verbal fusillades to count, Reitman and writer Diablo Cody surely have a hit with Juno.

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Ellen Page will be a star in the near future. After the cult hit Hard Candy and her small role in the mainstream X-Men 3: The Last Stand. Page comes through once again as a talent to be reckoned with. Perfect comedic delivery and the ability to turn serious without being melodramatic is one of her key talents. Michael Cera still bugs me a bit, the kid seriously needs to man up a little. I have only seen him in Superbad and Juno but there is basically no difference in either character. Sure he's funny in these situations, but he's going to be pigeon holed if he doesn't show some variety soon. J.K. Simmons and Alison Janney almost steal a few scenes away from Page as her parents. The best way to describe them is the most realistic version of a teens fantasy parents. Simmons is great in every scene but watch for Janney's tirade against a snobbish ultrasound technician, it's one of the best scenes in the movie. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner are great as the proposed adoptive parents. They don't seem to fit together perfectly, which may have been done on purpose, but Bateman plays the slightly whipped husband perfectly. I know a few guys whose stuff has been relegated to one room in the house and can feel for Bateman. Garner, having just had a child in real life with husband Ben Affleck, probably didn't need to dig too deep for motivation in this film, which makes her performance that much better. Last mention is a quick cameo by Rainn Wilson of The Office, who has one of the best lines in the film as a lowly convenience store clerk.

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Even though I haven't given many reasons to see Juno, I can only say that it is a package deal. The closest thing I can even consider a flaw is the dialogue. I don't think that many teens actually speak the way these characters do, but if you can get around that, then Juno is for you. Aside from that, Juno is by far one of the best comedies I have seen in a long time that doesn't feature gross out humor. It has already become one of my favorite films and will be a welcome addition to my collection.

There are multiple release dates for Juno for different cities. Head here - http://content.foxsearchlight.com/inside/node/2413 to see when Juno opens in your city.

Until Juno 2, Juno Junior,
keep reading

Mitch Emerson
mitch@comicbookbin.com


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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