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Monday, March 10, 2008

Juno

Husband and I used to go to a movie almost every single weekend. Then we got Netflix, and a puppy, and we don't go out to see as many movies at the theater. We happened to have free passes to a local theater and Husband really wanted to see Jumper.

I tried my best to convince him to see Juno with me instead. I helpfully pulled up reviews of both movies to show him that Juno had much better ratings than Jumper. He read the reviews of Juno quietly then commented: "That sounds like about the most boring movie ever."

I won though, not on my logic, but based on the fact that Jumper wasn't showing at this particular theater anymore. (This backstory is relevant, I promise).

Anyhow, Juno is of course that one indie movie of the year that makes it big (Other examples of past such movies include Little Miss Sunshine and My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Juno MacGuff is bored one summer day and decides to enlist her best friend Paulie in an experiment: sex. At the beginning of the movie we watch her downing a huge carton of Sunny D as she works on her third pregnancy test of the day. "That ain't no etch-a-sketch. This is one doodle that can't be undid, homeskillet." sneers the clerk (played by Rainn Wilson of The Office). They exchange a bit of dialog so clever and snappy I was a beat behind trying to figure out what they meant. Thankfully, people talked more normally from then on. Kind of. Juno has got a smart mouth that doesn't quit, and though the supporting cast is great, she carries many of the scenes with her snappy comebacks.

After accepting the fact that she is instead pregnant, Juno decides to go to the local abortion clinic to handle her problem, but finds she can't go through with it. On to plan B. Along with her best friend, she searches the local Penny Saver for parents "desperately seeking spawn". She finds a family, Vanessa and Mark Loring, and everything is settled (or so it seems).

The desperate-to-be-a-mother is played by Jennifer Garner, and her husband (practically a child himself) by Jason Bateman. At first blush, their polished, expensive suburban life seems as different from Juno's as could be imagined, but Juno strikes up a friendship with them, especially Mark. I have to stop there because if I go any further I'd give away the entire ending. Let's just say that the movie doesn't let you down.

Diablo Cody is from my great state of Minnesota, and I enjoyed the references throughout the movie to different Minnesota locations. She wrote a funny, moving script. However, the real hero of this movie is the casting director. There was not a bad actor in the bunch. Ellen Page, who played Juno, managed to carry off lines that would sound ridiculous spoken by anyone else. I believed in her character completely. Her parents were not only supportive, but hysterically funny. Juno's sex buddy was played by Michael Cera, who has mastered the art of awkwardness. The movie could have easily cast an actor who is smooth, polished and muscular, but the tall, skinny Cera fit the role perfectly.

If you need further endorsement, let me add that my husband laughed hysterically during the movie and walked out quoting his favorite lines. When we got home, he googled "Juno quotes" to remember the best ones. Here. Check them out. They are pretty darn funny.

9 comments:

Melody said...

Kim, I grinned while reading your first sentence because that was exactly what my husband thought so intitially when I brought up the subject of watching this movie. We still haven't watched it, fyi, (but that's because we can't squeeze out the time) but I told him I'm going to get the DVD once it's out, haha!

Glad you guys enjoyed it. Loved the quotes. ;)

Debi said...

I absolutely cannot wait until this is out on DVD! I've wanted to see this since I saw the first heard of it. Unfortunately, movie and babysitter is just too hard on the old budget...and I have a problem sitting still for that long in a theater anyway :(
So glad you both enjoyed it so much!

Chris said...

Glad y'all enjoyed it! I loved Juno...I would've like to see it win more at the awards, though I was glad that Diablo Cody won best Screenwriter. It would've been great to see Ellen Page win best actress. She was great! You should let your husband guest review Jumper when it comes out on DVD ;) I wanted to see that one too but it apparently didn't last long in the theaters down here either...

aaron said...

I've heard so much about this movie, and how wonderful it is, but this is the most personal review I've yet read.

Now instead of simply feeling like I should see Juno because I'd be an awful person (not to mention out of the loop) if I didn't, I actually want to see it.

Thanks!

Oh, and don't see Michael Clayton. My blog post tonight was also a movie review, as you will see.

Maw Books said...

I just saw this movie on Saturday, so it's fresh on my mind. The beginning of the book was so much like Napoleon Dynamite that my husband and I couldn't believe it, even down to the John Heder look-a-like character. Although we like Napoleon Dynamite, we were glad it didn't stay like that throughout the whole movie. I even cried!

Andi said...

OK, I'm sold! I'm going to add this one to my Netflix queue ASAP.

Nymeth said...

I enjoyed this movie a lot. I'm glad to hear you and your husband did too :)

Rhinoa said...

I loved this film so much and knew instantly it would be my favourite film this year. I loved the opening credits. I am trying to drag my husband along to see it as well, but we are uncoordinated at the moment. I love the Juno quotes thanks for sharing.

Kim L said...

melody-if my husband liked it, I'm sure your's will too. It would be a great rental! Hope you enjoy.

debi-I'm sure you will enjoy renting it! I already had it in my Netflix queue when the opportunity came up to see it in person.

chris-my husband will no doubt add Jumper to the top of our Netflix queue. He read the book and thought it was really good. Netflix is great for those movies he wants to watch that I have no desire to see. And vice versa.

aaron-I'm glad I inspired you to see it. And I totally agree with your assessment of Michael Clayton

maw books-I know, wasn't there some great scenes/lines in this movie? Its so quotable.

andi-oh do, you will enjoy it!

nymeth-oh good someone else who loved it!

rhinoa-glad you liked the quotes! The opening credits were so great, they just gave the perfect setting for the rest of the movie. And the music was just great.