Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Clips: JUNO Film Review

Republished with permission of Creative Screenwriting:

Teen Dream


Diablo Cody

Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page), an über-creative 16-year-old, discovers she's pregnant from a one-night stand with her good friend, Paulie Bleeker (a delightfully bewildered Michael Cera). With help from vibrant best pal Leah (Olivia Thirlby), Juno decides she'll give her baby to Vanessa and Mark Loring, a well-to-do, blissfully photogenic couple (played by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) who are not as perfect as they first appear. Juno's father (J.K. Simmons) and stepmother (Allison Janney) warn Juno not to get involved in the couple's personal life, but though she has no qualms about severing ties with her baby once he or she is born, she can't resist hanging out with Mark in the meantime; he's more like a teenager than Juno is, and complications ensue. Diablo Cody's script is wickedly clever and emotionally honest. It may be unfair to criticize dialogue for being too good, but when Juno, all deadpan wryness, speaks to the adults, her self-aware language occasionally interrupts the scene (asked by her father what she's been up to, Juno replies, "Dealing with situations way above my maturity level"). However, that's not to say it isn't hilarious, and in scenes with her peers, particularly Leah, Juno's behavior and dialogue are completely natural, while still being enjoyably fresh. As in Knocked Up, the possibility of abortion is mentioned but quickly dropped, because otherwise there would be no movie…and that would be a shame, because both the film and its eponymous heroine are smart and lovable.
- Sarah Skilton

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