003797Reviews & Counting
DVD disk
04.18.2008 By: Sturdy
Juno order
Jason Reitman

Ellen Page
Michael Cera
Jennifer Garner


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A quirky teenager gets unexpectedly pregnant after spending one night with her best friend. After considering a few options, she quickly decides to give the baby to an adoptive couple. She quickly gets entangled in their lives and comes to several realizations about her own life.
A lot has been said about JUNO on this site and many others since its release last fall. It was labeled as 2007ís ďlittle movie that couldĒ implying itís received more success and acclaim than most were expecting. Personally, I missed it at the theater, but I was more than eager to catch it on DVD and decide for myself whether the acclaim was warranted, or if this was another in a long list of critically overrated films.

Iím happy to say that I loved this film for a variety of reasons. It hits on all levels and the fact a film about teenage pregnancy can appeal to such a wide audience is a testament to how special this movie is. I went in expecting the pregnancy to take center stage and for the audience to have to sit through 90 minutes of a woman complaining about the burdens of child bearing. As it turns out, her pregnancy is just the catalyst for the rest of the story and her pain and discomfort is rarely the focus. Her pregnancy ends up touching the lives of everyone around her, and that serves as the basis for the film.

One of the best aspects of the film is that all the characters are steeped in reality. No one made a statement or took an action that made you feel it was ďHollywood-izedĒ. Although it sounds clichť, the characters were real, so even if you couldnít relate to the events, everyone could relate to at least one of the characters or situations.

Face it; teenagers for the most part are obnoxious, so not enough credit can be given to Ellen Page for inserting a charming, teenage quality that was never confused for obnoxiousness. She delivered the lines in the magnificent script with an ease that will probably establish her as a genuine actress for years to come. No one else had as challenging a role, but everyone played their parts well. Even Jennifer Garner brought her A game to the film and I rarely enjoy her in any of her roles.

If I have one complaint, it was with Jason Batemanís character. He played it exceptionally well, but I didnít like where the script took him. It was clear from the beginning that he wasnít happy with his situation and that unhappiness was more than enough motivation for his character. There was no need to create other motivating factors for him. It was a slight distraction in an otherwise wonderful film.

Overall though, this is a film that will appeal to many audiences of all ages and cliques. The characters are genuine and fun to watch. Ellen Page gives a fantastic performance and the dialogue and situations will have you laughing long after you turn it off. Like LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE the year before, JUNO is an independent film that has found a lot of success and all of it is more than warranted.
Commentary with Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody: Reitman is an intelligent director and Cody obviously has writing talent, so I was looking forward to this. I wasnít let down as both of them provided interesting bits and also made some good jokes that kept the track rolling. Cody seems like a cool chick and her personality comes through here. Itís a great commentary and I laughed throughout.

Deleted Scenes (20:21): Some of these were actually extended scenes, but they were all great. If you even moderately enjoyed the film, you have to take the time to watch these. Diablo Codyís dialogue is great and there are plenty of examples of that amongst these scenes. Any of these could have been put back in the film and it would have flowed just as well. And yes, I laughed out loud a few times.

Gag Reel (5:12): Blah. I hate the ďIím sorryĒ and uncontrollable laughter gag reels. Thatís pretty much what this is except for a few good moments from Jason Bateman. Some of the scenes were a little long, but overall itís worth it for the few shining moments.

Gag Take (1:57): I was a little confused as to what a ďgag takeĒ was, but apparently itís one long gag. To be honest, I canít tell if this was staged, or if they were really upset with one another. Iím more inclined to say it was staged, but if it was, they didnít say so.

Cast and Crew Jam (3:13): No jamming here. Itís a music video for a song I donít know, but was briefly featured in the film.

Screen Tests (22:34): I donít know why Michael Cera would have to do a screen test, but apparently he wasnít convincing as himself in all his previous roles. Another thing about these screen tests is that they seemed very polished for a screen test. Thatís not necessarily a bad thing, but itís a testament to how good the actors are.

Way Beyond our Maturity Level (8:58): The cast and crew talk about the contrast of the characters mature and childish qualities. Most of this is focused on the main characters and everyone has positive things to say about everyone else. Itís a little too happy, but it was ok.

Diablo Cody is Totally Boss (8:36): Yep, this is all about Diablo Cody. By now, you know her story. The screenplay was found on her blog, which happened to be about stripping. I found this to be very interesting and itís a good story for all amateur screenwriters out there. I guess the moral of the story is to start a blog about sex and then hope a horny Hollywood producer takes the time to read your script.

Jason Reitman For Shizz (8:09): This is 8 minutes of everyone talking about how great Jason Reitman is. It starts with discussing how he got the job and then goes through the making of the film. There were a few too many movie scenes for an eight minute featurette.

Honest to Blog: Creating Juno (13:02): This is the one fluff piece that feels like a commercial for the film. Jason and Diablo sit in a theater and talk about the film over a lot of movie scenes. I liked a lot of what Diablo had to say, but I didnít want to watch the film again. Plus, most of this can be found in the commentary.

There are also some Previews
I enjoyed this film and I can highly recommend it to just about everyone. Itís an enjoyable film that will have you thinking about it long after you see it. Given the high re-watchable factor, I canít recommend a rental. Go out and buy the SE DVD or the Blu-ray and make it a part of your collection.
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