The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought ... See full summary »
Raymond De Felitta
A tale told over four seasons, starting in autumn when Juno, a 16-year-old high-school junior in Minnesota, discovers she's pregnant after one event in a chair with her best friend, Bleeker. In the waiting room of an abortion clinic, the quirky and whip-sharp Juno decides to give birth and to place the child with an adoptive couple. She finds one in the PennySaver personals, contacts them, tells her dad and step-mother, and carries on with school. The chosen parents, upscale yuppies (one of whom is cool and laid back, the other meticulous and uptight), meet Juno, sign papers, and the year unfolds. Will Juno's plan work, can she improvise, and what about Bleeker? Written by
This could have been a very, very good film. I enjoyed the basic plot - a quirky, tomboy-ish 16 year old discovers she's pregnant, decides to give the baby up for adoption to the "perfect couple" but finds that the perfect couple isn't so perfect - and maybe no relationship ever is.
There were also some great moments, and great lines. I like when Juno tells the baby's quirky father, Bleeker (played by Michael Cera) that he is the coolest person she knows, without even trying. And he responds that, actually, he is trying really hard (to be cool).
I guess that gets me to the problem with the movie- it's trying waaaaay too hard to be cool (by being quirky - yes I have used this word 3 times already, intentionally). In the beginning, a store clerk sees that Juno's pregnancy test is positive, and he says: "that's one diddle that can't be undone, home-skillet". I cringed. As others have mentioned, Juno has an "ironic" hamburger phone, wears "ironic" t-shirts featuring 70's era toys (Slinky), wears Converse sneakers, and can't seem to have a conversation without making pop-culture references no matter what is going on - even when her water breaks and she is headed to the hospital, she has the detached sense of irony to make a reference to a mid-80's cartoon, yelling: "Thundercats are go!" I cringed again. I get it - Juno is a hip, snarky, ironic, tough, cool-because-she-trying-not-to-be-cool chick. But she becomes a cartoon, a warped caricature of an actual quirky kid. I could not accept Juno as "real" and was painfully aware that I was watching a movie.
And that is my ONLY problem with the film. The other characters and their stories are amazing - particularly the adoptive couple, and the difficulties they are facing. The best parts of the movie are those few moments when Juno gets her uber-ironic self off the screen, and we get to enjoy the other, more realistic, characters.
Would have given this a 8.5, if not for the cartoonish-ness of the Juno character. Thundercats are not go.
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