Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Thumb Way Up: Juno

Starring: Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner
Co-Starring: Allison Janney, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Michael Cera

Juno, a 16-year-old high school girl, has to make some serious decisions when she's confronted with her unintended pregnancy. The subject is serious but it's handled respectfully and forthrightly. In fact, I'd say this movie is more of a comedy than drama although it certainly has elements of each.

What I Liked
• The acting. Jennifer Garner is absolutely fantastic. Allison Janney is great in her supporting role as the step-mother, and Jason Bateman was a pleasant surprise. Ellen Page and Michael Cera hold their own as Juno and her boyfriend.
• The normalcy of the characters. They looked and (mostly) acted like your family, friends, co-workers, etc.
• The setting. It is always refreshing when a movie takes place outside of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, or Washington D.C./Quantico.
• Nice directorial touches like Juno picking a crocus and holding our attention on the screen.
• The scenes designed to be tear jerkers were heart-warming, not sappy. I didn't cry.
• One of the final scenes set to the song Sea Of Love.

What I Didn't Like
• An uneven script in the beginning. It probably could have used one final polishing re-write before production. Much of the early dialog was stilted and the jokes fell flat. Perhaps these were the first to be filmed and the actors didn't feel their characters yet?
• I found the family's reaction to Juno's pregnancy unbelievable.

As I left the movie house, I had a big smile on my face and I felt content. However, I wonder what the reaction to the movie would be by someone that has had to deal with the ramifications of an unexpected pregnancy. Someone who has had an abortion, given their baby up for adoption, or weighed these options seriously but decided to have and keep their baby would have a much different reaction than I did.

For me, this was a feel good movie despite the subject matter. This movie gets my thumb way up.

Sidenote: Juno is the Roman Queen of Heaven. (Source: Jeopardy!)


Michael said...

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!! I cried from start to finish--in a good way.

cb said...

I really REALLY want to see this movie. Definitely this weekend. I LOVE Jen Garner!

Jeremy said...

I have heard that this movie was good, but I was waiting to hear more about it. Thanks for making up my mind about what to see this weekend. Juno it is!

more cowbell said...

My son called me from the mall today, asking if he could go see it with his girlfriend. (he just turned 15) Knowing the subject matter, I was thinking, hellno, but told him I'd call him back. After looking at what lots of people had to say about it on The Internets, and the way it was done, I figured 1) he called and asked permission, when he didn't have to 2) maybe not a bad thing for them to see what consequences a young person may have to deal with.

RC said...

interesting questions about how other people would experience this film based off previous experiences.

my wife is pregnent so some scenes were a little wierd to her, but we both really liked it.

you are right about the uneveness at the beginning, i hadn't thought about that.

the dialogue and acting is great!

Y | O | Y said...

rc--thanks for stopping by! I popped over to your site and read your review and I think we're in sync.

It all seemed a bit too easy for her, which is probably why I left the movie feeling good that everyone was happy in the end. I imagine that the real life emotions aren't quite as easy to cope with as were presented here.

Big Daddy said...

You should check out Ellen Page is Hard Candy. It's intense.