I know what you’re probably thinking, another teeny-bopper movie made for teens about teens and leaving everyone else to remind them how silly being in adolescence can be. Juno is another story. After viewing the trailer, to be honest, I was skeptical. I wanted so hard for this movie not to be in the stereotypes and be incredibly disappointed by the entire showing, but I must say, after viewing, it was the complete opposite!
We are first introduced to the characters and the previous stories behind what has just occurred. Juno MacGuff, played by Ellen Page, is walking towards a local pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test, only to find for the third time in a row that she is indeed pregnant. The whirlwind of emotions overwhelm her as would any teenager facing all the oppositions and has yet to over come any. The free spirited girl tells her one and only sexual encounter that she has become pregnant. Paulie Bleeker, played by Michael Cera, an avid runner on the cross country team for his high school is stunned to hear the news and baffled at what the next step might be. Juno says to Paulie, a good friend and nothing more, that she will be able to handle the situation on her own without his help, and give the baby up for adoption; which, as odd as it may sound, the emotional roller-coaster of love begins with this decision.
Juno tries to find the something to help her through the situation. Her parents, although very stunned, accept and embrace what is there, a daughter who had made a mistake and is learning through the absentminded decision. Juno’s mother, Bren MacGuff, played by Allison Janney, takes her step-daughter under her wing and becomes an even more hard edge for her to rely on, which will ultimately bring them closer together as mother and daughter. Juno’s father, Mac MacGuff, played by J.K. Simmons, is the one Juno most relies on for advice and support. He goes with Juno to the first meeting with the adoptive parents Juno picks and allows the advice in her life to completely make the right decision in the end of the movie, but more on that to come.
As Juno finds a reasonable suitor for her new baby, she comes across the Lorings, Jason Bateman (Mark) and Jennifer Garner (Vanessa). After many failed attempts to have a baby of their own, this couple decide to adopt from Juno on Juno’s terms, which are more comical than any ordinary terms of agreement, but nevertheless, the deal goes through. Juno then finds time in her life to gain a sense of attachment to this baby and this new family. Although finding common grounds of interest with Mark, she is then propositioned as he comes clean with his relationship with Vanessa and that it is truly falling apart and has been for quite sometime. When hearing the news, Juno is unable to take the heartache often found in the “perfect” families and runs off in a ball of tears and emotion. This only escalates after she has also pushed away her one good friend Paulie, to find that he is going to the dance with someone of lesser value than herself.
Insert fatherly advice. Although very indirect, the basic idea of his advice is that there is always goodness in people. Always and always, there is someone who practices such good things, which is exactly the reassurance she needed. She returns to the Lorings home leaving only a note. As she drives away, Vanessa finds the note addressed to her, “I’m still in it if you are. -Juno” Although relationships fall apart, Juno was able to see the goodness and wholesome action within Vanessa through random events in public situations through the process of the entire film. As the date of birth approaches, she is also able to mend the relationship between herself and Paulie with Tic-Tacs (Paulie favorite breathe freshener) and a sincere apology. At then, it becomes ever more evident, through a process of erratic events, true love can happen at one of the most immature stages of life. If there has ever been a time of knowing true love to happen, I’ve never known it till now. As Vanessa adores her new love and Mark settles into his new downtown studio, Vanessa then looks upon the wall dedicated for her new family photo, which is replaced by a framed note, “I’m still in it if you are. -Juno”
The movie comes to a close as Juno rushs to Paulie’s house on her bicycle and guitar strapped to her back. He awaits her outside his house. They begin playing a beautiful song resembling much of their own relationship as the camera slowly pan away. The movie ends with a kiss and credits roll.
Not your typical movie by any means, but surely one worth watching once, or maybe even 8-10 times. It’s received much acclaim and will become one of the best movies in a whole new era of acting and filming abilities. I highly recommending this, although subject material may be a bit off for some, but language is at a minimum and laughter is at a maximum.
Reviewed by: Andy.
Rating: M – Contains Offensive Language.
Duration: 96 mins.
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
Actors: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby.
Director: Jason Reitman.
Distributor: 20th Century Fox.
Release Date: Out now.