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Juno, one girl's story
freemoviesforme27 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I rarely go the movies, I watch them on cable or rent them usually. When I heard about Juno I was interested but afraid it would disappoint. I Forgot about it and probably would have never seen it if I had not stumbled on it on cable one lazy Sunday afternoon. I think there are some very valid criticisms of the movie and of course there are some errors and questionable choices made, but the movie was filmed in 31 days which I find amazing.

One of the reasons I was afraid to see Juno was that I was Juno. Okay a little different but let's just say 17 and a senior in high school instead of 16 and a junior, everything else very similar. The biggest difference-I never met my child's adoptive parents.

I stupidly got pregnant though I knew better. Almost right away I realized abortion was not for me and that I was not ready to be a mom. No one ever talked about that 20 something years ago. You either had an abortion and no one knew or you kept the baby. At least that is the way it seemed to me.(not true I know but almost no one talked about adoption) Juno's character is quirky. I don't find her annoying in the least. She is a smart kid and she acts like one. While I can understand why some feel this movie showed teen pregnancy as having no consequences I disagree. The consequences are real for Juno. She has to deal with being pregnant, with finding adoptive parents she likes and trusts. She has to deal with school, her best friend Bleeker's emotions, her own emotions.

It is all done subtly and actually very realistically to me. Its a snapshot of what occurred. We don't know every moment of emotion and how Juno dealt with it. We do know at the end she was crying very heartfelt tears and that she felt she picked the best situation for her baby.

Its a gamble, there are no guarantees and she deals with that fact the best she can. I find her innocent relationship with Mark Loring very believable and the shaky marriage of Mark and Vanessa as real as it gets.

Yes Juno's parents seem to be over the top understanding. However you can tell they are simply accepting, loving people and are there for their daughter, why is that such a stretch for people to believe? I think this was well written, well acted, well cast and very real. The message is not that teen pregnancy and adoption is easy. To me this is one girl's story. It wasn't easy but she made the best of it and carried on with her life and gave her child a good start. As for a 16 year old knowing the references and music that Juno did, well in this day and age every one has access to old music, old TV shows, movies, etc. So its very plausible that Juno is a fan of the 1977 era and has been exposed to it via internet, cable and recordings.

It has flaws, and missteps but certainly in the end a great film and one I will watch again and again. As someone who has been through this I cried my eyes out and they were happy tears, to see that some one else saw it the way I did when I was where Juno was.
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about as indie as Avril is punk rock
ceburo21 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I rarely post things on internet blogs but this is a bit of a concern of mine. I am worried that beautiful films such as L'Infant are going to now be classified in the same category as Juno. I understand the mass appeal of this movie-- the mainstream audience being confused and thinking it's an indie flick by the gritty film used and the obscure references but Juno is in no way an independent film. I think why it is so ineffective is because the audience it was trying to attract (the movie fanatics who hate big budget Hollywood junk i.e. anything with Jessica alba in it) saw it for what it really was: Hollywood junk wrapped up in a converse shoelace bow. It was as indie as Avril is punk rock.

Furthermore it is (in my opinion) a tasteless, pointless movie. For the majority of the film I am more annoyed with Juno than I am sympathetic to her plight. I also have a hard time relating to her as she is NOT a 16year old but rather a 35year olds characterization of a 16 year old (does this make sense?) I have NEVER heard a teenager / young adult in my life ever utter ridiculous lines such as "honest to blog?" or "yea I'm total for-shiz". What the hell? I thought maybe a stripper turned blogger would have been a little more able to develop a story with characters that are down to earth but this Juno character is absurd.

Plus the rest of the film is completely underdeveloped-- you never see the relationship with her stepmother develop or understand why it is the way it is. Her relationship with bleaker has maybe 25 minutes but it is in no way a developed understood relationship. In fact he's barely even seen! The summary of the movie includes the words "and with her beautiful friends help…" but in the movie there is absolutely no connection with her friends beauty and the relevance of it. Was there supposed to be some conflict? All these story arcs that were never completed.

I was very disappointed with this movie. Fox searchlight has produced many good films (notes on a scandal, little miss sunshine, the last king of Scotland, etc) but this is just an embarrassment. It wasn't as though the actors were bad-- Michael Cera as usual plays the adorable awkward adolescent and Ellen page, Jason Batemen, Jennifer Gardner, etc play their roles respectively but the whole premise of the movie was so over the top and unrealistic. Oscar worthy? It's ludicrous. This is a movie worth missing.
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Review of Juno
behrlich393 December 2013
Juno has an effect on you. You can tell by the opening title sequence that this movie has a lot of heart. The unique dialogue may come off as annoying to some but I find it to be one of the reasons the characters feel so real and likable. I felt as if Juno was a real person throughout the whole film, thanks to Ellen page. Her performance is perfect and there could not have been a better pick for the lead role. All of the casting choices are great. Including J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney as Juno's Parents. Jason Reitman did his best directing in his career by far on this film, in my opinion of coarse. Diablo Cody's perfect script would have been ruined by any other director. But Reitman has an amazing control of tone. On a personal level Juno has left an impression on me and I will truly never forget it.
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Manipulative and Simplistic
isabelle195513 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Look, I do get it. I fully appreciate that a film about a girl who gets pregnant, has an early abortion, then manages to move on, would be a pretty short movie. In fact, so short it wouldn't get made. No one wants to know about reality. And certainly in 21st century North America, no one wants to portray abortion as a viable option. Very, very bad form currently.

But when I see this film reviewed as "blazingly truthful" and the pregnant 16 year old central character described as being 'in a pickle', as I did in one review, as if perhaps she'd forgotten a homework assignment and might get detention, I have to admit that the cynic who lurks in my soul gets full rein. This is basically a cutesy film about being pregnant at 16, where despite a few problems, everyone gets to live pretty much happily ever after. Gosh, girl in a pickle comes good! Ahhh!! And apparently everyone in the cinema where I saw it was quite overwhelmed by attacks of the warm fuzzies, except me. Two seats away, a woman slightly older than me was weeping joyfully by the end while behind me, young women were giggling happily as sweet Juno's bump grew. Good grief! Is this really a message we want to give to 16 year olds?

I'm beginning to think I'm something of an oddity. You see, I don't find it 'blazingly truthful' that a bright, resourceful and articulate 16 year old as Juno is portrayed, would be so dumb as to have inadequately protected sex then seem surprised to find herself up the spout. One point of the script is that Juno herself apparently initiated the sex, thought it through in advance in fact, because she was bored. I therefore assume the pregnancy was at least to some extent planned. And if she really had no idea that sex might lead to pregnancy, her parents (portrayed as bemused but supportive), should be excoriated for such inadequate parenting. And if I see one more review which describes Juno as a comedy about growing up 'and the bumps along the way….' (I'm prepared to bet good money on that having been written by a middle aged man), I swear I'm going to run amok in the local mall with a urine dip stick. Being pregnant at 16 isn't a sweet joke, abortion clinics (whatever you think of their morality - and I'm neutral on that) are not run by morons, and while Juno has some amusing one-liners, and a good central performance from Ellen Page, it is basically a deeply flawed, superficial movie which is trying too hard to be cute. It's extremely manipulative.

I'm going to be very controversial and suggest that far from being surprised by an unplanned pregnancy, Juno might actually be a very willful young woman who wants to add pregnancy/childbirth/adoption to her 'experiments-in-living' list. At everyone else's expense. It certainly makes her the center of attention. She wouldn't be the first girl to get pregnant for that reason.

I found the situation between the adoptive parents more convincing. Childless Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) is desperate for a baby. Husband Mark is not so sure, and does at least eventually face up to the truth of his uncertainty by making a break for it. He may be 40 going on 18, but he's being honest about it. And for me the most moving scene in the whole film was when Vanessa held the newborn child in her arms for the first time, having decided to go it alone as a mother anyway. If there is a message to be taken from this movie, it's possibly that becoming a mother when the time is right, is just fine.

A superficial, cutesy, lightweight movie. The fact it was written by a woman is no excuse. I am gobsmacked that it's been nominated.
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Critic's drool over slack "Juno"
roy-zornow19 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What is it about any movie that shows a hip white woman bringing her baby to term that causes film critics to temporarily lose their minds? "Knocked Up" was given a free pass and Juno is inspiring some of the worst film criticism I've ever seen.

The truth is that "Juno" is a calculatedly juvenile film with an immensely appealing main actress (Ellen Page), fake meta-dialog, and an inability to follow-through on its central theme of abandonment.

Juno is constructed so as to allow moviegoers to feel as if they've gone through a significant emotional journey, without doing the work. One way it blunts serious emotions is through the use of hipster patois in the place of real dialog. Rob Harvilla, a music critic with the Village Voice described this best:

"Teenagers who talk like thirtysomething screenwriters. "Cool" parents who talk like teenage screenwriters. A 16-year-old heroine who actually says things like "Just looking to secure a hasty abortion!" and "Just dealing with things way outside my maturity level!" and (grits teeth) "Swear to blog!". Just appallingly cute cute cute CUTE CUTE." The cutesy dialog has been universally panned in reviews, but its also serving to throw critics off serious discussion of the film's major shortcomings. A.O. Scott in the New York Times:

"...not many are so daring in their treatment of teenage pregnancy, which this film flirts with presenting not just as bearable but attractive. Kids, please! Heed the cautionary whale. But in the meantime, have a good time at "Juno." Bring your parents, too." Scott cannot resist writing in a similar style to the dialog, in fact thinking in this teenage way. "Heed the cautionary whale. But in the meantime, have a good time at "Juno." I don't know anyone personally who has brought a pregnancy to term and given up her baby, but I can imagine it's a lot more painful and less attractive than is portrayed in Juno. No amount of squiggly animated fonts and warbly hypersincere outsider-style singing can make up for that fact, and pretending otherwise is the opposite of daring.

At one point in the film, after he adoptive couple has seen their relationship dissolve, the character Juno gives voice to the main point of the movie. She says something like: "I just want to know that love can last. That two people can love each other and it's not going to go away." A movie-sequence childbirth follows, then a shot of Juno saying she does not want to see her newborn, followed by a single tear coursing down her face. Cut to a postpartum Juno, happily riding her bike, spitting wisecracks and singing twee duets, with the afraid-of-his-own-shadow Paul Cera.

I'm not being a moralist here, I don't want to see the character Juno punished for giving up her baby. But it's an unsatisfying experience to have the main theme of the movie evaporate, and to instead be fed a dose of indy candy rather than a resolution, or at least a coherent point of view. Critics have responded to this shortcoming by either ignoring it - offering, as Scott does, a blithe positive assessment of the films earnestness, or else, as Stephanie Zacharek does in Salon, constructing tortuous "filmic" criticism:

"Juno" is partly about the necessity of making choices for ourselves, but it's also about knowing when we need to accept help from others. That idea is never spelled out in so many words; it comes through in the actors' faces. "Language is the house man lives in," Jean-Luc Godard told us, borrowing from Martin Heidegger, in "Two or Three Things I Know About Her." There are lots of words in "Juno." But in the end, it's really all about language." OK I'm going to let the royal "we" pass. Her evasive argument reminds me of "cold-readings" by psychics, who employ verbal tricks to keep their marks engaged: "you're a shy person, but if it's something you care about you have strong opinions, although you mainly keep them to yourself, but when the chips are down..." Zacharek's version is: "it's all about language, but not the talking kind, but instead the kind you find in actor's faces, when they are letting you know they need help, which is really what it's all about, just ask Jean-Luc Godard, when he borrows from Martin Heiddeger." Anything to keep abandonment at bay.

Perhaps it's a zeitgeist thing, there seems to be a generalized post 9/11 anxiety about the future of mankind, for example the spate of recent movies about apocalyptic threats to civilization (cf. "Cloverfield", "I am Legend"). Combine this with role-uncertainty created by modern decisions to delay childbearing (cf. Lori Gottlieb's article "Marry Him" in the Atlantic Monthly), and the result may be that a simple squiggly-lined movie about a young woman's lack of anxiety in furthering the human race has an appeal that is irresistible. Just not to me.

Swear to blog.
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Thundercats are go?
pauljcurley28 February 2009
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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Let's not get carried away, people.
shizz_2716 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Juno" is funny (nearly every single line of dialogue is written to elicit laughter), directed with at just as sure a hand as "Thank You For Smoking".. possibly surer.. and acted gamely by the whole cast -- especially Olvia Thirlby and J.K. Simmons as the title character's galpal and understanding dad. The script, by Diablo Cody, is rich with one-liners; anyone who's read Candy Girl (which is unbelievably intelligent and funny; her description of Shania Twain, especially, had me rolling) will kind of know what to expect.

This is without a doubt Ellen Page's show. She's in almost every scene, and I couldn't spot an instalnce when she made a bad decision or timed a delivery anything but dead-on. During a funky, kick azz opening title sequence, Juno is on her way to the pharmacy. "I just drank my weight in Sunny D, and gotta go, pronto!" It's time for another pregnancy test, because the last result looked more like a division symbol than a plus sign. New stick: same plus.

The father's a guy Juno had sex with once upon a time, who also happens to be her best friend, Paulie Bleeker (a non-affected, quite bland Michael Cera). She decides to give it up for adoption, being 16 and all, which Paulie supports -- as do Juno's father and step-mom -- and the rest of the film is about her selection of adoptive parents.

Pretty straightforward storytelling, but with an ear for quirky, hip dialogue. If the spoken words were any more "cool", or the actors speaking them did so with any less suave, my gag reflex might have taken over. The AFF audience I saw it with, last Sunday, couldn't get enough from the second Juno tells a dog to shut up, through lines comparing babies to iPods and Alison Janney going off on a physician.

There's good stuff, here. And even though it never really swept me off my feet, the film is consistently humorous and, in one scene near the end, somewhat heartbreaking.
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A shallow, poorly considered exploitation of these important issues
mrethanboy16 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
At first blush, "Juno" seems like a pretty great movie. It's entertaining and lots of fun to watch. There's a great cast, and each of the film's characters are well-sketched and interesting. First-rate cinematography keeps the film colorful and engaging from start to finish. There are more than enough quirks, witty dialogues and obscure name-droppings to keep the hipsters placated. Perhaps it's just a bit pretentious and tries just a bit too hard, but these flaws could be overlooked. The movie should have been a charming little indie-lite film.

But it's not. Ultimately, I stepped out of the theater feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. The problem is that "Juno" tackles two very relevant issues in today's society –- namely, abortion and teenage pregnancy –- and utterly fails to address either in a way that is realistic or compelling. Now, maybe it's unfair to expect Juno to make a decent exploration of these complex themes. It's just a comedy, after all. However, even as many critics praise the movie's keen humor and witty banter, it's hard not to get caught up in the fact that this movie painfully abuses these highly relevant issues.

In one particularly wince-worthy scene, Juno's stepmother tells off an ultrasound technician for indicating that teenage mothers are less capable of taking care of their kids than adults. She argues that teenagers could be just as devoted to their children as their adult counterparts, and that she should stick to the things that she knows about. Instead of defending her position, the technician wordlessly exits while Juno, her friend and her stepmother exchange verbal high-fives.

The film makes offers no exploration of the ultrasound technician's completely valid viewpoint. Are teenagers ready to leave school to get a job and start supporting a dependent of their own? Are these kids really mature enough to tackle these issues? Should they have to? Does the amount of devotion to the baby really matter when you can hardly afford food and shelter? These relevant questions are left unasked. The scene is telling of either the director's ignorance or else his pointed attempt to skew facts to make a point, and neither shines well on the movie.

Juno MacGuff seems to be living in a dream world. Never mind her ridiculous vocabulary or unrealistically snappy sarcasm – her parents barely react to the news of her pregnancy, she almost effortlessly finds parents to adopt her unborn child (in a newspaper want ad, no less), the legal issues are smoothed out in the span of 30 seconds and Juno's social ostracism is hinted at but hardly explored in any meaningful way. Instead of getting a believable portrayal of teenage pregnancy, the film offers the pretentious name-dropping of hip punk bands. At one point, Juno actually says "Sonic Youth is just noise" as a biting insult. It's all a tad ridiculous.

At the end of the day, perhaps none of this should interfere with enjoyment of the movie. Perhaps one should gloss over the film's aggravating biases and enjoy what is otherwise a great film. However, the fact remains that Juno passes itself as an artsy independent film about teenage pregnancy and abortion, but it is little more than a shallow, poorly considered exploitation of these important issues.
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I want my 10 dollars back!
Ivonamcgill30 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I must be the only person who can honestly say I didn't crack a smile once throughout the entire movie. It was hard for me to smile because I was busy being irritated at the horrible dialogue and annoying "jokes" spewed out by Juno and her stupid friends. Perhaps the worst part of all was the irritating and unnecessary indie "girl with a guitar" music constantly fading in and out throughout the movie.

The pattern to "Juno" was more or less like this: "I have a hamburger phone" *insert music to show how quirky Juno is with her hamburger phone* "Umm dad I got pregnant" *insert music to show what a dilly of a pickle Juno is in* "Ah well, stuff happens" says the dad *insert indie guitar with girl singing about how stuff happens* So just imagine 96 minutes of that kind of manure.

I respect Ellen Page as an actress but this movie is just too annoying. The only part of the movie I really enjoyed and seemed to have any depth to it was the situation with the couple who wanted to adopt Juno's child and their relationship. They were complex and real, and actually made me feel really sad and pity them.

I read through some reviews and I do not see any connections between Juno and Family Guy humor. I love Family Guy, and Juno is nothing like it. If I had to compare Juno to any movie I would say that it's a failed wannabe of Napoleon Dynamite.
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Don't believe the Hype
happy-vega10 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is way over-hyped. Most of the time I was just annoyed by most of the things on the screen.

First of all the dialog is something a 16 year old girl would never say. Too hip, witty, and glib for anybody. She sounded like she was reading a screenplay, which she was. I mean it was sssooo bad that it took me out of the picture. Right then, it could no longer be a semi- serious drama. I think it was trying to be an updated version of Heathers, but failed miserably.

Then, start-up the eclectic cool indie music stolen out of a Wes Anderson movie. I love Wes' movies but Juno is not that, its a wannabe. The hip music comes on all the time, to fill in the missing script no doubt. At the end of the film maybe the last 5-10 minutes there must be about 5-7 different songs one after another each for a different sequence. It was way too much. What do you do when you can;t raise the emotion with dialog, put in music and lots of it. Once you pay attention to it, its almost laughable. Its about the only thing I laughed at in this movie.

Another Wes Anderson ripoff was the runners running through the movie. This reminded me of Tenebaums with the gypsy taxi gag.

And lastly. She finally decides she's in love, still treating the guy like crap and always will. They should have a sequel to this crap movie where 3 days later they break up because she's cursing Bleeker out and treating him with contempt.

This movie was a loser in every way and not a indie movie. This thing was marketed to death.
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This movie has stayed with me
brino728 November 2007
I saw this movie at a preview in St. Louis about ten days ago and can't stop thinking about it.

I had no expectations going in (as I was given three free passes) as I took my teenage daughter and her friend. Learning about the subject matter, I was quite anxious how it would be shown and frankly I thought it was done very well.

First of all everyone has gone to High School with a Juno. That smart alec independent tomboy, cute, refreshing & fun to be around but not cool to date or be seen with. And the further removed from high school you are, you look back and wonder why? The acting by Ellen Page was outstanding (I had no clue who Ellen Page was - I have since watched Hard Candy). I can't remember a film that I was so drawn in by the main character.

I've always told friends for me the mark of a good movie is the character actors and their performances. They all deliver in this movie. I'm not going to go overboard and say its the best movie this year but it is one that I would recommend. Its rare I go to a preview and actually want to go see it again. Count me in come Dec 14th.
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Juno has to be taken lightly and if done,its just awesome!
bharath-karthikeyan22 May 2011
Anybody who gets to see the promos or the DVD covers would have enough clue about what the movie is about.Well I can tell you this,its not only the story which was brilliant - Its the wonderfully written screenplay,great acting by the casts,captivating photography with great locations and of course Ellen Page's incredible acting which has made a mark. There is generally a specific group of audience who could appreciate a certain movie,but when it gets to Juno...anybody above the "PG13" audience will definitely love it.The movie is about emotions,friends,innocence,parenthood,commitment and of course the fun in living it up! I enjoyed watching the movie over a Sunday afternoon at home,I just fell in love with it :)
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a little false
helenemarguerite23 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The sixteen year old pregnant girl is played brilliantly by Ellen. She is depicted as a confident and autonomous young person making extremely important life decisions. She does this without any discernible guidance, except for the disproportionate weight she places on a placard-bearing peer, who advises her that her unborn already has fingernails. Hence, she abandons her original and previously unchallenged plan of abortion, in favour of finding some infertile yuppie adopters to be recipients of a free baby.

What irks me horribly about this (popular!) movie, is the dishonest account given to teen viewers about the impact and consequence of teenage pregnancy, childbirth and in this case, surrender of a newborn without even looking at it! That is, no account, representation or hint is given about any of these issues. It's as if a 16 year old girl can uneventfully travel through the gestation and parturition and surrender and there are no great issues to debate about that.

Quite irresponsible and potentially damaging to young girls making life decisions.
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Competent, but boring
levonpe10 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie with very high expectations as several friends had recommended it to me and it has an 8.4 rating on IMDb. Those expectations were not up to par with the movie itself, to say the least. You can cite various stylistic problems and inconsistencies in the story, but ultimately none of that matters. I just found it to be pointless. There isn't anything fatally wrong with the story or with the actors, it's just that I don't see what the interest is to begin with.

The story comes down to this: girl gets pregnant, girl puts child up for adoption, thinks it isn't going to work out at first, then it works out and she goes back to the father. Whoopdie freakin' do. Explain to me where in that boring list of events is there Oscar worthy material. Some of Juno's quips are mildly amusing, and the story progresses smoothly and with decent cinematography, but where is the overwhelming impetus of it all? What are we supposed to be inspired by? I must emphasize that I don't think this is a bad movie, I just don't think there's anything phenomenal about it - as many people would lead you to believe.
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there was something to like in this movie ???
progmetal20 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
How original. A teenage girl who has the "old soul" vibe to her and for no explained reason has knowledge of '77 Punk though she was born in the '90's and her dimwitted blonde friend sure doesn't know who Richard Hell would be. This movie is almost a slap in the face to anyone who has a good set of morals. Her "only" options are to go to an abortion clinic or give the baby up to spoiled yuppies? The basically uninformed and shy Michael cera has basically no say in anything until all her options run out and then she "decides" that they must have been in love all along. And the comments she makes while getting her ultrasound are borderline offensive and her mom had no right to stick up for her daughters constantly talking and babbling mouth. The fact that ANY teenager would actually act and talk like Juno is a farce. She even keeps stopping by the adopters house unannounced and basically hitting (or flirting) with Jason Bateman who is supposed to be adopting this baby! And OF COURSE the parents are not only supportive but have plenty of wacky looks and one-liners themselves. The soundtrack is even worse then the crappy dialogue in this movie. I left this movie feeling insulted and the lack of 'moral' to this story is ????? That you try two different ways to ditch your own kid (who she always refers to as "it") and when nothing works you go to the original father and say "lucky you"! Even the sex that took place was non-emotional and scary to think that high schoolers would just do it so casually like that. And why are people putting associating the word "indie" w/ this movie? It has major stars in it and looks pro. If I could of ripped my head from my body and thrown it at the screen in order to get this movie to stop I would have. Ellen Page deserves cut-out bargain bin for this movie not any awards. Her performance was of utter annoyance. Maybe the "american pie" movie crowd likes this but if you are a true lover of film....skip it!
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Not funny!
fredman55553 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Not funny! Don't waste your time and money! If you've seen the previews, you've seen the funniest stuff in the movie (and by the time you hit the movie, those aren't even funny anymore though evidently some of the people in our theater thought they still were)! Overall, our theater was pretty quiet!

The acting itself was very good -- probably the only reason I could rank it as high as five, and there was one excellent piece of advice offered to Juno by her father (seen in the previews when he said she should find someone who loves her for who she truly is), but beyond that, it wasn't worth the time! Otherwise, the overall plot was not terribly believable, and the humor just wasn't there!

Summary: 5 out of 10 for positive acting skill and mild humor but lack of believability and lack of seriousness or stress in a situation which would prove very stressful.
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Another in a long line of College Kid Quote Fodder (tm)
Galcian10 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
We've all done it. We've had that little moment where we think we're clever. We will jot down a poem, a short story or maybe even direct a super poignant student film and try to amaze everyone with our talents. After blowing smoke up our own butts for a while, most of us come back to earth fairly easily. Sometimes, we'll look back on these moments years later and say, "Ah. My youth. How foolish I was back then.." and enjoy a bit of nostalgia. Juno is what happens when that moment festers long enough to make it to the big screen.

In the first line of the movie, the titular Juno claims that it all started with a chair. I'm thinking it really started with a very pretentious writer named Brook Busey-Hunt (a woman who refers to herself as "Diablo Cody" and wrote a memoir when she was only 24, if you want an idea of just how pretentious she is) saying to herself, "Tee hee! What a neat idea I've just had! A movie that ends with the same thing it begins with! I'm a genius!" This is pretty much the feeling I got throughout the film; a movie constantly in awe of itself. A movie THINKING it's clever instead of actually making an honest attempt to BE clever. And, as with many films these days, it's designed to be College Kid Quote Fodder™. As such, Juno has received much critical acclaim, and yet another bad example of how to make a movie is made. An example that will be copied and recycled to the point of obscenity. If you need proof, look no further than Juno itself, which feels largely derivative of films such as Napoleon Dynamite.

It's hard for me to point out anything good about this flick, as nearly every moment of it is so overflowing with arrogance and self indulgence that the finer details are scarcely visible. There were a few moments here and there that made me sort've laugh. Not an audible "ha-ha" laugh. Just that little inner laugh where you blow air through your nose once. Most of the dialog is very gimmicky and focuses on making young hipsters feel cool because they have knowledge of semi-current popular culture and the popular culture of yesteryear. Nearly every line is like something out of an episode of Robot Chicken, Venture Brothers or Family Guy, and the young, ignorant, "edgy" 20-somethings who are lauding this film as a masterpiece gorge themselves on that sort of thing. The "THUNDERCATS ARE GO!" line alone is going to ensure that Juno will be recorded in the annals of history amongst those who wear "Vote for Pedro" t-shirts and grown women who still wear those annoying, multi-colored striped socks with all the toes. And there are lot of you. I see you at the mall hanging out in front of HotTopic all the time. And man, Sweeny Todd and Juno at the same time? You guys must be having a liturgy.

See? I just did it right there. I was being a snide little jerk who thinks he's funny. But the difference here is that this is just a review soon to be flamed and forgotten, whereas Juno is currently ranked as the 129th greatest movie of all time at IMDb. That might not sound like a big deal, but bare in mind that this puts it above such films as The Gladiator, Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, Life of Brian, The Princess Bride.. and, well, I don't even want to continue this list. It's too depressing.

The film isn't a total loss. There are some decent performances, at the very least. Most notably, we have Juno's parents, played by J.K. Simmons, who many will remember as Jamison from the Spiderman trilogy, and the West Wing's Allison Janney. Their characters were funny, sincere, and had the only worthwhile lines in the film. The would-be parents of Juno's unborn child, played by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman, are also played fairly well (though Garner definitely feels more than a bit out of place). The problem is that as convincing and adorable as these characters are, they're peripheral characters with very little to offer. As a matter of fact, the only character in this film who doesn't feel peripheral is Juno herself, played by Ellen Page. Page's performance is a tough one for me to slam because I can't quite tell if she's just wooden or if she's struggling with the awful, novelty dialog Brook Busey-Hunt wrote for her. The other characters aren't so much characters as they are caricatures, and also feel largely peripheral and derivative, even Juno's key love interest in the film.

In the end, Juno is just another film to provide young adults something to quote in front of their friends so they sound funny. But because the young people of this generation are so pertinacious and precious, Juno is adored by them and will probably go down in history as a masterpiece along with similar College Kid Quote Fodder™ movies like 300, Borat and Napoleon Dynamite. I was recommended this movie by a friend, and I was somewhat excited to see it after seeing all the raving in its wake. I won't say for certain that you should or shouldn't see this film. If you think shows like the Venture Brothers or Family Guy are the zenith of comic genius, you will love this movie, and by all means, go see it. If you're a bit less juvenile and have a taste for real comedy like the works of Woody Allen or Mel Brooks, Juno might leave you pretty confused and $8 bucks poorer to boot. Go see Walk Hard instead, while you still can. You'll at least get a good laugh, which is what comedy aims for, and something Juno fails at miserably.
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sk8alypse19 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Having been recommended this movie by quite a few people, I had fairly lofty expectations for this movie. Boy was I highly disappointed. This movie was really boring, especially towards the end where I was practically falling asleep, and this wasn't due to a lack of sleep! The dialog in this movie is what makes it boring ... a pure sleeper!

The acting was average at best. Ellen Page's performance gets pretty annoying after about 10 minutes, further ruining the viewing experience.

Furthermore the movie was way too long. Perhaps if they shortened up the dialog and added some more action into it, it would have improved it.

In terms of novelty, there is none. The movies adds nothing to previous ones in the genre.
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If you loved Superbad and Knocked Up... Ah screw it! The movie sucked.
lfcfan078910 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This weekend, my girlfriend drove down from Purdue visit me here at good old IU (she's transferring next year, thank God). Apparently, Purdue has some school-sanctioned P2P video sharing software that she recently got hold of. At a friend's suggestion, she downloaded Juno, and wanted to watch it with me. I personally thought the movie was a little too "chick-flicky" for me, but I absolutely LOVED Superbad (proud owner of the DVD, t-shirt, and theatrical poster), so I thought "What the hell, it has Michael Cera, and it'll make my girl happy." After watching the movie, I felt the need to watch Superbad again and make sure the same actor that was hysterical in that movie could possibly be the bland, unfunny male "lead" in Juno. Thankfully, I wasn't alone. My girlfriend shared my sentiments as well, so i didn't feel like a total a-hole.

First of all, I consider myself a bit of a music nerd (or Nazi, as my girlfriend suggests). I read in an internet headline somewhere a while ago that Cera showcases his musical talents in Juno and thought that was pretty cool. But I was wrong... dead wrong. The soundtrack in the movie made me want to bash my acoustic against my car so I could never accidentally play any chords reminiscent of the abomination to music I heard in that movie. Anyone who could listen to that "music" and say to themselves "Hey, this is awesome" is either: A. Under the age of 6. B. Have the mental capacity of a 6-year-old. C. Tripping on mushrooms D. Lying to himself/herself.

The movie itself was hardly amazing. All the characters were next to impossible to relate to. Cera's character, even though he was supposedly Page's character's best friend, was next to worthless when it came to plot development... If Juno was impregnated by some nameless father who is briefly mentioned, the movie would have changed very little. Her family is weakly developed, as well. Her half-sister is mentioned maybe 3 times, and shown even less. It would have been very interesting to see the dynamic relationship between pregnant older sister and innocent younger sister, but nothing is shown.

The adopting couple are the only interesting characters in the whole damn movie. I was way more interested in the back-story of these two, but nothing is given about Jennifer Garner's character and Jason Bateman's character is way more interesting than the few paragraphs of back-story we are given on him. I would have loved to see his transition from underground rocker to corporate sellout, but yet again I'm disappointed. Hell, if the entire movie revolved around these two and Juno was only a minor character, my review would probably be a lot different.

Enough with the pop-culture references already!!! There is a time and place for them, and that's usually in an animated comedy like Family Guy (love it!!!) or The Simpsons. "Movies" like Epic Movie, Date Movie, Scary Movie, and Meet the Spartans prove this time and time again. If it's longer than an hour, keep the references out of it. Superbad was hilarious, and the only reference I can think of is one about Orson Wells, which the target demographic would probably be clueless about.

The characters were so unbelievable it was sickening. Besides the young couple, there wasn't a single character I could look at and say "That character totally reminds me of (fill in the blank)." Juno tries to be too many personalities at once. One moment she's stupid and obnoxious, then she's sarcastic and nonchalant, and all of a sudden she's calm and rational. I can understand having a deep and complex main character, but when the character jumps from one extreme to the next in the same scene, it gets really tiring really fast. Cera's character Bleeker is so mundane and boring it's inconceivable how the two of them could be friends, aside from the fact that absolutely no one under the age of 45 would wear shorts like the track team that he runs for wears (in fact, i have no clue where someone would buy shorts like that).

I've seen that a lot of people were bitching about the film's "pro-life" agenda. While I think it's disgusting that someone could be mad about that, I thought the movie was totally indifferent to the subject. It made abortion protesters look like clueless morons with no support, while it made the clinics look like they're run by incompetent and unsympathetic jerks. While both of these are untrue in real life, and the movie is obviously attempting to satirize the two, the way the movie goes about it is so unfunny that most people don't even get the joke. In fact, the only reason I could find that Juno would walk out of the clinic is simply because the movie would be too short.

All-in-all, the movie is a let-down. It's obviously targeted to high-school and college girls and tries to make anyone who dislikes it feel like they're "out of the loop." It doesn't surprise me one bit that this thing was given an Oscar nomination. It's mostly because a comedy can't be funny if it wants to win Best Comedy, and Juno is definitely a prime candidate for that.
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I don't buy it, sorry.
oddlaww2 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This whole movie was just one big farce. A great representation of stupid trivial empty references and buzz phrases that I am sure we will want to forget ever existed in the next year or so.

I saw it as less of a "independent" movie (or any sort of attempt at social commentary, character study, creative screen writing, etc) and more of a way for a company to make some money off the idiots who buy into laughing at jokes based on things that exist in the current culture.

HAHA she said something about how she eats "Taco Bell" or HAHA she drinks blue slushie drinks or HAHA orange tic-tacs or HAHA she mentioned "blogs". HAHA THATS SO FUNNY HOW CREATIVE OF YOU! Its all pointless garbage that only tries to cover up the fact that this movie had no storyline, the acting was bad (and I mean bad because the cast portrayed characters that seemed basically written for them specifically judging from their other work) and the soundtrack was comprised of quirky-indie-folky three-chord acoustic guitar movie music 101 that is so far past the point of being contrived and unoriginal it bewilders me how anyone could think it is genius.

I found the jokes annoying, the dialogue extremely annoying and the main character Juno was the most shallow person ever with no regard for anyone but her own selfish "I think I know more than those big dumb uncool adults" mentality. You ask why everyone in school is staring at you? Its because you are purposely making them stare at you by eating in the trophy case with your giant pregnant gut intentionally sticking out of that outfit next to your cliché "mountain of food" wrappers strewn all over yourself and said trophy case! As someone else said, the mentality of the screenwriter is that she not only owns a hamburger phone, but she WANTS everyone to know that she owns a hamburger phone! How can someone make such a desperate cry for attention but then shun everyone when they pay attention? It is all too forced and perfectly executed where I would ever believe that this was truly just a story written to warm people's hearts. This was just an example of how nowadays, everything is fair game for corporate rape; even hamburger phones and unknown-to-the-mainstream folk bands like the Moldy Peaches.

The public is buying into it, falling for it and just contributing to the further stupification and ignorance of everyone. It's a disgrace of a film and an insult to people who really work hard to CREATE THEIR OWN meaningful independent films. This writer just stole the ideas, subjects, personalities, words and lines from things created by people other than her so she can go buy a nice luxury house and live off the earnings fed by the sheep who hail this movie as brilliant.

You want to tell the already-rich vultures banking off this film how much you like to be controlled by them?? Go see this movie.
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the sum is less than its parts
Tony4320 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is a well produced, well directed, well written and extremely well acted film. Its essentially a one woman show, and Ellen Page becomes a star with this picture, or at least she should.

So why am I not jumping on the bandwagon? Its a game played with a stacked deck and that turns out to be its downfall.

Juno is a 16 year old high school girl who gets pregnant after a single sexual encounter with her boyfriend of sorts, Paulie. Does Juno panic? Not on your life. Juno is smart as a whip, adventurous and once she decides to have the baby, she sets out on her own to find proper adoptive parts. The first family she visits turns out to be a rich yuppie couple who seem fine and they strike a deal. After a few doubts, Juno winds up having her baby and turns the child over to the rather rigid and somewhat frigid Jennifer Garner, who probably takes the kid right home and registers him for the right pre-school.

The problem with this whole thing is that Juno encounters virtually zero problems along the way. She is not kicked out of school or ostracized by her classmates, her parents are supportive, the boyfriend doesn't disappear on her and the adoptive couple, while facing their own problems, don't turn out to be too bad.

So essentially, what we have is the after school special about teen pregnancy, or one of a thousand Lifetime channel stories on the same topic, but minus most of the conflict. Its also minus what seems to me to be the real life emotion 16 year old girls would go through if this happened to them, and any of the self doubt that goes with the decision to give up their baby.

Lastly comes the question of whether any sixteen year old would be as self assured and well rounded as this girl? It's possible, but rare.

As such, the picture is worth seeing for Page's performance, but Juno is not exactly what you'd call high drama.
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from the art house to the megaplex
Buddy-519 January 2008
The thing that separates "Juno" from so many other films about teen pregnancy is that, in this case, the 16-year-old who finds herself in that predicament refuses to become a victim of her circumstances. From the moment she confirms the unwelcome news, Juno studies her options - abortion, raising the child as a single teen parent, adoption - then takes matters into her own hands. Like the Roman goddess who is her namesake, Juno is a bright, often sharp-tongued individual who prides herself on her observant cynicism and her way with a sarcastic quip. However, she's not above appealing to the adults in her life when the problems of the world get to be too much for her (though, in some cases, the grownups are coping with more serious issues than she is). Yet, Juno makes certain that it is she and she alone who will have the final say when it comes to determining the course of her own future and that of her child.

"Juno" is that rare low-budget, independent feature that finds unexpected success in the mainstream by striking a chord of recognition in audiences across the demographic spectrum. First-time screenwriter Diablo Cody hits pay dirt with a clear-eyed, largely unsentimental script that is not afraid to go off in unexpected and interesting directions and that avoids patronizing its Middle American characters. Juno's father and stepmother manage to take the news in stride, while the yuppie couple Juno alights on to be the child's adoptive parents are given a depth and complexity far beyond what a lesser writer might have afforded them. Director Jason Reitman keeps the quirkiness to a minimum and allows the scenes to play out in a naturalistic, unhurried way. Confident in the strength and appeal of his material, he lets the gentle human comedy speak for itself.

In a star-making turn, young Ellen Page takes a daring approach to her character, often bringing Juno right to the brink of un-likability, then pulling back at just the crucial moment, making us see how utterly likable she truly is. As the child's father, Michael Cera is virtually the same lovably passive nerd we found so endearing in "Superbad," while J.K. Simmons and especially Allison Janney give rich shadings to Juno's supportive parents. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner also make their mark as the couple who post their picture in the "baby wanted" section of the local throwaway.

"Juno" faces the downside of any independent film that unexpectedly finds itself ripped from the confines of the art houses and suddenly duking it out at the multiplexes with all those high-budget, high-octane, testosterone-laden blockbusters - namely the risk of over-inflated expectations. Thus, my advice is to look beyond all the hype and box office records and simply let "Juno" sneak up on and take a hold of you in its own quiet, inimitable fashion. I think it works best that way.
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Is it worth all the hype?
zgringa31 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
While I would admit that there were definitely a few laugh-out-loud moments in Diablo Cody's dialogue, there were a lot of inconsistencies with her characters. Is Juno being portrayed as a "wise beyond her years" 16 year-old, or are we supposed to understand that she is just your typical teen who acts on impulse without forethought of the consequences? She seems mature when she is faced with a very difficult situation (Mark coming on to her), and she handles it with ethics and aplomb. Yet somehow, she is so naïve that she never saw it coming in the first place (despite the warnings of her step-Mom). Heck, if she's smart enough to figure out how to deal calmly with this accidental pregnancy, why on earth didn't she use protection with Paulie in the first place? If she's supposed to be just a regular teen, then why have all the hip-quips and precocious attitude? And is it just me, or is it hard to see why Vanessa and Mark Loring are even still together when we first meet them? They couldn't be more different than Felix and Oscar, and yet The Odd Couple was entertaining because it was about comedy and conflict. The slow demise of a marriage is sadly real, but not entertaining.

Diablo Cody definitely has a talent for creating quirky characters with off-the-wall dialogue, but can she also create ones that are relatable? "Juno" had a "Napoleon Dynamite" feel to it…interesting to watch because the situation was real and possibly mundane, but the characters were so strange it was like watching aliens in human costumes. Juno's Dad is much more hip than any Dad I've ever met. Juno's step-Mom, except for her obsession with dogs, is way more cleverly sharp-tongued and protective of Juno than you normally see in a biological Mom. I'm guessing that Leah's taste in portly middle-aged teachers is meant as a joke; because it is so exaggerated it becomes farcical. I think the only character that even seems close to a real person is Paulie Bleeker. Don't misunderstand me; all the actors gave an outstanding performance. I just think that the media should hold off on crowning Diablo Cody the next Quentin Tarantino. She may be a professional when it comes to marketing and self-promotion, but she's not the only stripper out there who can write…pandorazblog is better than Cody's P*ssy Ranch.
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This movie is garbage
orangeisthenewawesome29 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Realize this movie was hyped to the wazoo for being wacky and offbeat. Actually, it's just garbage. The dialogue absolutely RUINS this movie. I realize it's a movie and is not necessarily expected to be realistic but it is so far from reality (and not in a good way) that it's just annoying. The character of Juno occasionally resembles a realistic teenager but most of the time is just a caricature of some type of person I have never seen or heard of in real life. The soundtrack blows. The whole movie is some pretentious attempt to be cool and artsy and instead just comes across as really silly.

The only person I found redeeming in this movie was Jason Bateman. He's a great actor and brings a little reality to an otherwise ABSURD movie.

To be honest I really hate this movie because with the cast it had it could have been sooooo much better.
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Don't Believe the Rave Reviews
moody30826 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Listen, I love Diablo Cody. I've read her book, watched her on Lettermen, and quite honestly, I would do her upside down.

But "Juno" misses the mark and it's largely Diablo Cody's fault. She simply cannot write dialogue. In this mess-of-a-film, the characters are indistinguishable because they all have the same snappy wit. Sure, the actress who played Juno (Ellen somebody) was absolutely tremendous. What was unclear was why the father--Justin Bateman--abruptly decided to leave his wife. To potentially hook up with Juno, who was somewhat of a younger physical version of his wife? And why was Juno's stepmom in the maternity room when the baby was being retrieved by the adoptive mother? Diablo, please stick to writing snappy, coming-of-age books.
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