MOVIE: Juno (2007)

My sister and I had an afternoon free last week (during her son Luke’s naptime), so we decided to go see a movie.  We picked this one after I said I’d read it was not only smart and funny, but also that it was kind of like Knocked Up for women (we had just been talking about how much we HADN’T really liked Knocked Up).  Plus, my sister is pregnant right now herself, so a movie about a girl havin’ a baby sounded like fun.

As it turns out, this movie is not only smart and funny, it’s utterly brilliant.  We absolutely LOVED IT.  It’s about a 16 year-old girl, Juno (Ellen Page), who has sex once with her friend Bleeker and ends up preggers.  At first, she thinks she might abort, but after a visit to an extremely strange abortion clinic called “Women Now,” she is unable to go through with it.  She decides adoption is better and quickly decides on a cute, wealthy couple (Mark and Vanessa, played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) who posted an advertisement for a private adoption in the Penny Ads.

As Juno goes through her pregnancy, she begins bonding with Mark, a former rock musician who now writes ad jingles.  But it soon becomes clear that Mark has second thoughts about being a father, and things start getting pretty complicated for Juno from there.

What I loved about this film was not only its razor-sharp wit and its totally killer soundtrack (The Kinks, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, and Mott the Hoople, to name a few), but the way it mixed real emotion into all the funny (something I’d argue Knocked Upcompletely failed to do).  Many times, the emotion in this movie hangs on the slightest change in a character’s face, eyes, or body language, and, in that respect, I have to give major kudos to both Ellen Page and Jennifer Garner, who were phenomenal in this.  And, of course, who can resist J.K. Simmons as Juno’s father (clearly the donor of her sarcasm gene) or Michael Cera as Juno’s friend Bleeker who clearly loves her and yet is far too sweetly dorky to simply come out and say so?  

I’m so glad I saw this movie before 2007 was up so it could go on my “Best of 2007” list this year.  There wasn’t a single part of this film I didn’t absolutely love, and that goes double for the part where I got to watch it sitting next to my pregnant twin sister, periodically patting her belly as we laughed together on a warm afternoon in sunny California, munching on Christmas candy and slurping Diet Cokes we’d smuggled into the theater in her big (but very cute!) mommy purse.  Thanks, sis, for a truly delightful afternoon at the movies! 

[Pre-queue me at Netflix]

Genre:  Comedy/Drama
Cast:  Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney

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2 Responses to “MOVIE: Juno (2007)”

  1. Sheila Says:

    LOVED LOVED LOVED this movie!! My hubby and I saw it yesterday and I would watch it again today if I could. The part where Pauly lies down next to her in the hospital bed….oh man. Jennifer Garner was great and I loved Juno’s dad and stepmom. Dysfunctionally funny, wonderful family. I might have to buy this movie when it comes out on DVD.

  2. Marni Says:

    Right back at ya, sis! Thanks for being my date to the movies after how ever many years it has been since I’ve been able to go. And thanks for picking out the exact right movie for us to see together. I knew I could count on you for that! Agreed that all of the casting, the music, and the witty dialogue make this the incredible movie that it is. You listed all of the greats…Juno, her dad, Bleeker, Jennifer Garner (the best I’ve ever seen her), but I also loved Alison Janney as the step-mom. And the best friend and Jason Bateman were utterly convincing too. One of my favorite movies of all time right now. But I’m preg-o and can’t really be emotionally trusted. :0)

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