Sometimes you see a movie
that is so real, funny, insightful and heartfelt that you just want to give
everyone on the screen a big hug. Juno is one of those films.
That is not to say it is
sappy. On the contrary, most of the characters of Juno are hip,
sarcastic and oh so smart. However, it is almost impossible not to
fall in love with each and every one of them.
The storyline itself
doesn't fairly hint at the quirky wonders of the film -- a sixteen-year-old
semi-outcast girl becomes pregnant while experimenting with sex and decides
to give the baby up for adoption.
Before you pull out your
moral majority high horse, know that Juno may very well be the most
family-valued film of 2007. For it is truly about love and sacrifice
and familial acceptance. Don't let the cynical post-modern veneer fool
you -- this is at heart an old-fashioned look at love and family.
Ellen Page -- who was
stunning and arresting in a totally different way in Hard Candy --
makes an indelible impression here in the title role. Merely 20 years old and small of
stature -- still this role seems like it has a touch of destiny to it... the
coronation of one of the next great talents.
Her sorta-boyfriend is
played by Michael Cera, who between this role and his past triumphs in the
film Superbad and the cult-fave TV series Arrested Development
has proved that he is perfect at playing the shy, confused adolescent.
I don't know if he is really this insecure or if he has just nailed teen
angst -- either way he is spot on and I look forward to seeing what he does
They are surrounded by
pitch-perfect supporting characters -- Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as
the yuppie couple who don't seem to completely see eye to eye about the
adoption, JK Simmons and Allison Janney as Juno's realistic and nuanced
parents and Olivia Thirlby as her cheerleader best friend.
Juno does not hit a
false note or make a single clichéd move. It is funny, sad, heartfelt,
confusing, arch, contradictory and touching.
Just like real life.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: December 25, 2007.