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Juno (2007)
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Review Date: February 22, 2008
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Mason Novick, Russell Smith
Actors:
Ellen Page as Juno
Michael Cera as Paulie
Jennifer Garner as Vanessa
Plot:
Juno is a 16-year old highschooler who just got pregnant, but doesn’t think she is mature enough to handle the baby, and so decides to find a cool couple to adopt the baby from her. The film essentially delves into the trials and tribulations of a controlled young pregnant girl, her best friend, her family and the possible future adoptive parents of her child. Comedy that I apparently didn’t “get”…ensues.
Critique:
I hate to be that jerk who goes against the trend particularly when it comes to “feel good” movies that most everyone and their aunt seem to be raving about, but honestly folks…I don’t get the “grand appeal” of this film! I really loved director Jason Reitman’s previous comedy, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, and enjoyed a handful of aspects in this film as well, particularly its pacing, its cutesy soundtrack, many of the actors and even the storyline, which at the very least, was different from most “teen comedies” hitting the big screen these days. But once the film was said and done, I really didn’t feel all that close to anyone (other than the great Jason Bateman) and certainly didn’t get swept into this “indie sensation” as I did with LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE last year. Maybe this is more of a “chick flick”, I don’t know. I do know that I didn’t like the lead character all too much, with her condescending and smart-alecky comments, and her fast-talking “extremely mature for her age” dialogue. Straight up, man…how many 16-year old girls today know anything about “The Stooges” or rock ‘n roll from the late 70s? This girl was quoting things most people in my generation haven’t even heard of…but someone born in 1992 apparently has smart-ass remarks about Soupy Sales and Franklin Roosevelt ready to go in her back-pocket?? Give me a break.

Most of her dialogue also felt very “written” as in films like HEATHERS, but that type of wording works in a “fantasy” movie in which co-eds are getting killed and such, but this picture was based in reality, so there are only so many of these exchanges (Friend: “So what's the prognosis, Fertile Myrtle? Minus or plus?” Juno: “I don't know. It's not seasoned yet. I'll take some of these. Nope...there it is. The little pink plus sign is so unholy.” Friend: “That ain't no Etch-A-Sketch. This is one doodle that can't be un-did, Homeskillet.”) that one can take before you say to yourself: “You know what…today’s kids just don’t talk this way!!” No surprise, the film’s screenwriter is a 30-year old woman, seemingly trying to write like a 16-year old. Aaaaaaaah! Dialogue issues aside though, I never really got emotionally involved in this film either, seeing as I wasn’t really into the lead character, who despite starting off pretty harsh, did “soften up” a little by the end of the movie (thank God!). I did enjoy the Bateman/Jennifer Garner storyline though (this storyline felt more real) as well as Juno’s rapport with her pops (played by the awesome J.K. Simmons), but unfortunately the film focuses on Juno, who unlike Max Fischer in RUSHMORE, just seemed a little too mature for her age, but more importantly…unrealistic and somewhat annoying.

Also, this was supposed to be a comedy, right? Well, I generally laugh when I watch a comedy and even though I might’ve smirked at a couple of “clever lines” in this film, nothing really made me laugh during its entire 90-minute runtime, so that certainly wasn’t the film’s strong point either, in my opinion. So there you have it, boys and gals, a somewhat negative review of a movie that has now even been nominated for “Best Picture” at this year’s Oscars (will wonders ever cease?). Wow. That said, the film certainly deserves a watch on video, and I’m sure that if you’re like many people out there, who knows…you might fall in love with the movie yourself. I thought it moved at a nice pace, had some interesting points of view on teen pregnancy (although even then, nothing too deep) and definitely featured some solid performances, along with a groovy soundtrack, but ultimately the lead character just didn’t click for me, while her dialogue and unemotional way of being, turned me off that much more. Yes, I’ll say it: this film is overrated. “Honest to blog”??
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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7:02AM on 03/31/2008

Agree on the dialogue...

Woeful in places...
Just a totally unendearing movie.

My own review is here:

http://watchwithmothers.wordpress.com/20
08/03/31/juno/
Woeful in places...
Just a totally unendearing movie.

My own review is here:

http://watchwithmothers.wordpress.com/20
08/03/31/juno/
Your Reply:



1:51PM on 03/03/2008
I disagree about the character being somewhat annoying as i viewed her to be super annoying. The rest of the story and characters were actually really good but the main character was quite the overkill.
I disagree about the character being somewhat annoying as i viewed her to be super annoying. The rest of the story and characters were actually really good but the main character was quite the overkill.
Your Reply:



2:16PM on 02/27/2008

Hmmm...

Agree with you 100% on this one. The dialogue felt forced and the characters were just unlikeable (except for Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman). On the whole, one of the worst movie experiences I had this year!
And on the subject of having kids; I do and none of them talk this way and none of their friends do. It could be where you grow up or who your friends are, but still did not fit into this movie.
Agree with you 100% on this one. The dialogue felt forced and the characters were just unlikeable (except for Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman). On the whole, one of the worst movie experiences I had this year!
And on the subject of having kids; I do and none of them talk this way and none of their friends do. It could be where you grow up or who your friends are, but still did not fit into this movie.
Your Reply:



1:09AM on 02/25/2008
The Most Overrated Film of the Year. Easily. But, I gotta say, the film - as a whole - worked for me. I dug it. However, the dialogue seemed to take me out of the scene from time to time. I'd rather read the script. Though, for the most part, the performances were pretty good.
The Most Overrated Film of the Year. Easily. But, I gotta say, the film - as a whole - worked for me. I dug it. However, the dialogue seemed to take me out of the scene from time to time. I'd rather read the script. Though, for the most part, the performances were pretty good.
Your Reply:



11:33AM on 02/22/2008

Im with Joblo

I was also left at a bit of a loss as to why this movie has met with so much acclaim. It was amusing, but to be honest i drifted in and out of enjoying it. Imho it would have been much better for letting itself go a little with its obvious potential instead of focusing so hard on being clever, cool and 'indie'. As it is it feels over-written, and the dialogue was too precisely crafted i found myself tuning it out. Michael Cera was excellent, and criminally underused as the only genuinely funny
I was also left at a bit of a loss as to why this movie has met with so much acclaim. It was amusing, but to be honest i drifted in and out of enjoying it. Imho it would have been much better for letting itself go a little with its obvious potential instead of focusing so hard on being clever, cool and 'indie'. As it is it feels over-written, and the dialogue was too precisely crafted i found myself tuning it out. Michael Cera was excellent, and criminally underused as the only genuinely funny part of the movie. In fact, to be honest i thought the majority of cast were better than Ellen Page who was fine but not really worthy of an oscar nomination! It probably didn't help that i found no reason to engage with/like her character. The soundtrack was a little irritating, making the movie seem like a 90min mobile phone advert.
Your Reply:



11:08AM on 02/22/2008

Do you have kids?

Joblo... although I don't have any teenagers myself (I'm not quite that old yet) I have friends that do. With this little tool called the internet, you would be amazed how much kids know these days. Heck, my 6 year old can read better than her Dad. My one year old son is already trying to use my laptop. We are in the information age brother! That said, Juno did annoy me from time to time. Didn't want to hug her like Ebert, but I did enjoy the movie.
Joblo... although I don't have any teenagers myself (I'm not quite that old yet) I have friends that do. With this little tool called the internet, you would be amazed how much kids know these days. Heck, my 6 year old can read better than her Dad. My one year old son is already trying to use my laptop. We are in the information age brother! That said, Juno did annoy me from time to time. Didn't want to hug her like Ebert, but I did enjoy the movie.
Your Reply:



10:13AM on 02/22/2008

aw come on

aw come on Jo, do you forget what high school was like in that the 2 main factions of kids 'the cool kids' and 'the kids who want to be nothing like the cool kids'?

I mean i can see how you would wonder how a girl that age knows about stuff like the stooges and such but its not that surpriseing as she was a person who wanted to remove herself as far away from the 'norm' as she could.

I mean with the internet the way it is now she could fins out about pretty much anything her heart desires
aw come on Jo, do you forget what high school was like in that the 2 main factions of kids 'the cool kids' and 'the kids who want to be nothing like the cool kids'?

I mean i can see how you would wonder how a girl that age knows about stuff like the stooges and such but its not that surpriseing as she was a person who wanted to remove herself as far away from the 'norm' as she could.

I mean with the internet the way it is now she could fins out about pretty much anything her heart desires regardless if its what 'girls her age' would be into or not.

I don't know about you but i've loved rock from the 70's since i was 14 years old and it was never what was 'in' with the kids of my age at the time so i don't see how it can be seen as so far fetched for Juno to have tastes like that.

I can see where your coming from and all but i just wanted to point out that saying her character wasn't really like 'girls her age these days' or what ever is sort of silly casue that was the point. She wasn't supposed to be a giggling teenage prosti-tot but a person trying to remover herself as far from that as possible.

And come on, Pie Balls! your telling me that didn't make you laugh?
Your Reply:



8:42AM on 02/22/2008
Well, this movie definitely isn't for everyone, and Joblo does make a few good points ("honest to blog" was a bit overkill), but I loved this little movie.
Well, this movie definitely isn't for everyone, and Joblo does make a few good points ("honest to blog" was a bit overkill), but I loved this little movie.
Your Reply:



3:29AM on 02/22/2008
well i loved this film, and didn't get hung up on how she was talking. seriously, in films we have to believe that Nazis have British accents and every army transmission has a 'niner' in it, but we can't get through the fact that a young girl talks like that? seriously, how many people talk like the characters from Die Hard or Transformers or whatever? and it's Juno that has to get the beating?

I'll say that it was a great film, with sharp dialogue (although I liked Simmons and Cera the
well i loved this film, and didn't get hung up on how she was talking. seriously, in films we have to believe that Nazis have British accents and every army transmission has a 'niner' in it, but we can't get through the fact that a young girl talks like that? seriously, how many people talk like the characters from Die Hard or Transformers or whatever? and it's Juno that has to get the beating?

I'll say that it was a great film, with sharp dialogue (although I liked Simmons and Cera the best), and a seriously nice ending with that Moldy Peaches song. it's a feel-good comedy, and judged by that, it's almost perfect.
Your Reply:



2:46AM on 02/22/2008

And Yet...

...This will still win the Oscar for Best Screenplay. The quirky little comedy always does. Obviously the academy is just as out of touch as Diabolo Codex.
...This will still win the Oscar for Best Screenplay. The quirky little comedy always does. Obviously the academy is just as out of touch as Diabolo Codex.
Your Reply:



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