Juno — (8.5 stars)
Juno is a whip-smart teen confronting an unplanned pregnancy by her classmate Bleeker. With the help of her hot best friend Leah, Juno finds her unborn child a “perfect” set of parents: an affluent suburban couple, Mark and Vanessa, longing to adopt. Luckily, Juno has the total support of her parents as she faces some tough decisions, flirts with adulthood and ultimately figures out where she belongs.
Well, I managed to improve my movie-going record and caught Juno last night — good, good movie.
This film was exactly why John Hughes doesn’t make teenage angst high school movies anymore. He just isn’t hip enough — at least not hip enough for the likes of sixteen year-old Juno MacGuff. The most shiniest of shiny elements of Juno has to be 20 year-old actress Ellen Page, who delivers the wickedly sharp dialog of screenwriter Diablo Cody with a subtle delivery that could easily be tripped over or over-extend its welcome. There’s nothing really groundbreaking about this film — a high school girl gets pregnant and finds who she believes is the perfect couple to adopt the baby. There’s no second-guessing of herself as to if she should keep the baby or not. Director Jason Reitman did a quality job of steering clear of the “after school special” quagmire.
Juno’s soundtrack also plays a prominent role in the film, helping establish that this is in fact not a typical high school movie, or even a “woe is me, my life is so tough” misunderstood teenager in trouble flick. Featurerd groups and performers include Belle and Sebastian, Mott the Hoople, Barry Louis Polisar, Kimya Dawson, and The Moldy Peaches. The way that the soundtrack interwove with the scenes in the movie reminded me a lot of Zach Braff’s Garden State — which this film shared a similar vibe with.
And my apologies to Natalie Portman. Ellen Page is now my number one crush. (Good thing she’s not just sixteen like in the movie.) Ellen, if you need a date to the Academy Awards, I’ll clear it with my girlfriend and accompany you. She won’t mind — she’s cool.