Starring Ellen Page, J.K. Simmons, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Rainn Wilson. Directed by Jason Reitman.
"Juno" is the story of Juno MacGuff, a 16-year-old high school student who has the tact and couth of a great white shark. After having sex with her shy/nerdy athletic best friend Paulie Bleeker, she finds out that she's pregnant (with Rainn Wilson as a convenient store clerk delivering one of the funniest lines in the movie). With her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) they
peruse the Penny Saver ads and find the perfect couple: Mark Loring (Jason Bateman) and his wife Vanessa (Jennifer Garner). Mark is a former rockstar wannabe who now writes commercial jingles and Vanessa works in an office environment. Telling her father (J.K. Simmons) that she's pregnant and she's found a couple to adopt the baby should be it.
But the movie shows the sometimes, life just isn't that way.
I watched the movie on a whim. While I am sometimes "caught up" in the movie reviewer's "you gotta see the new/next indie film" bragger's rights, I didn't feel that way in going to see this, and that worked perfectly. Ellen Page whips out dialogue faster than you can absorb it; kind-of a blend of pop culture, hip, and ghetto. I've watched her before in the uncomfortable "Hard Candy," and she's just as good in this movie as that one. J.K. Simmons
was cut-out to play the dad and was great in Reitman's previous film, "Thank You For Smoking." Jason Bateman had incredible chemistry with Page, and you could tell. Jennifer Garner pulled off her character as an obsessed-with-having-a-child woman.
The themes to this movie impressed me. The first theme is growing up. Juno has to come to terms that something that seemed innocent has consequences (whereas she had previously skid by other events in her life). Mark, who is an adult, finds the youth he misses in Juno. Vanessa needs to calm down and not be obsessive.
The other theme is relationships. Juno finds that she loves her best friend Paulie, but treated him like dirt. Mark finds that he's no longer in love with Vanessa as much as he is in Juno's personality. Vanessa has to trade a love she had for a new one.
I'm not giving out any other details than that, folks. There are some great lines in the movie, and a sobering look at how we see relationships and pregnancy.
My grade: B