Starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janey, and J.K. Simmons
Directed by Jason Reitman
IMDB Rating: 7.6
Review written by Rachel Geiger.
Juno is a witty and rare film that balances drama and comedy in an effortless manner. It’s an underrated and quotable movie that sticks with you long after the final credits play.
Juno MacGuff (Page) is a sixteen-year-old who gets pregnant after an incident involving a chair and her friend Paulie Bleeker (Cera). After considering an abortion and then being unable to follow through with it, Juno decides to put the baby up for adoption, giving it to a couple she found in the PennySaver (Garner and Bateman). The girl has to deal with the pressure that comes from having a baby at such a young age. However, she finds a way with the support of her hilarious dad (Simmons) and step-mom who she continually clashes with (Janey).
The story is creative, mostly due to how realistic and funny the writing is. The humor is filled with unique pop culture references that you can’t help but love. The script in general is one that I find myself frequently quoting because the one liners are just that memorable. This is definitely one of the most realistic films about teenagers, especially when it comes to this particular issue. There’s also some moments that are particularly heartwarming. Without giving anything away, I’ll only say that the big heartwarming scene is definitely the childbirth scene. Although the story has some dramatic elements to it, there’s always some little humor added in. There’s certainly a ton of laugh out loud moments which is really great to watch.
Ellen Page is completely incredible as Juno. She mixes humor and wit as she conquers this unique character. Juno is a teenage girl forced to take on a ton of issues but she progressively matures throughout the film. Michael Cera is endearing as the awkward yet somehow charming Paulie Bleeker. Cera typically plays this character in pretty much every movie he’s in and it gets old after a while, but it works in this one. Garner and Bateman are a little bit annoying as the enthusiastic couple that desperately wants to be parents. Allison Janey and J.K. Simmons are hysterical as they try to come to terms with young Juno having a baby. Janey’s character Bren is particularly memorable due to her fights with the teenager, but shows how much she cares for her when she defends her in my personal favorite scene from the film.
Director Jason Reitman does a nice job capturing various shots that also show so much emotion. I really love the shots of Paulie and the rest of his cross-country team running. I also really appreciate the shots of Juno walking around aimlessly in the beginning of the film carrying and downing a ton of Sunny Delight. I look forward to seeing more films from Reitman in the future!
This is a gorgeous film that is definitely unique from basically any movie I’ve ever seen. It has its own set of quirky characters that are unlike any other. It also has wit, humor, drama, and several other elements that make it stand out. In short, it’s not just another teen film that takes on the topic of teen angst, it’s much deeper and more meaningful than that.