Saturday, April 05, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Juno

I'm going to drop by with some movie reviews now and again. I think I'll pick Saturdays so I can call them Super Cinema Saturday. How's that for clever. And speaking of is the first offical SCS review.

click on the picture to visit Amazon's Juno page.

Description: Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) is a cool, confident teenager who takes a nine-month detour into adulthood when she's faced with an unplanned pregnancy-and sets out to find the perfect parents for her baby. With the help of her charmingly unassuming boyfriend (Michael Cera), supportive dad (J.K Simmons) and no-nonsense stepmom (Allison Janney), Juno sets her sights on an affluent couple (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) longing to adopt their first child.

My Review:

Juno is one of the most talked about movies of the year, hailed by some, scorned by others. I had the chance to watch it a couple of days ago. Sometimes I feel the need to write a review right away, other experiences compel me to stew over what I read or watched. Juno is a stew movie.

For starters, I'm going to warn cautious parents of young teenagers and tweens to view it before letting their kids loose with Juno. This film is a typical coming of age movie in that sexuality is a very strong theme. Several sexual comments, body part comments and situations that feel inappropriate and seem headed toward a creepy place, pepper the film. There is no overt sexual activity, but there are scenes with clothing being removed and obviously naked, strategically placed persons. Though the cussing is less than I expected, some coarse comments are made in some unexpected scenes. I believe the f-bomb appeared once as a non-verbal and once as a verbal. There are other smatterings of language that are pretty low-key. The screenwriters apparently believe the statement..."cussing shows you lack creativity."

That said, I can now tell you what I loved about the film. The characters are quirky, engaging and people I would likely grow to call friends. Juno plays fragile/tough/transparent and naive all in the typical adolescent roller coaster. She's creative, cynical and fresh. I loved Juno's sarcastic, dry dad and her off-the-wall stepmother. The family, dysfunctional in a loving and bizarrely respectful way, works and radiates a borderline healthy relationship. Juno's confidence and convictions are innocent and sweet and make her character multi-dimensional in all the right ways. Her support system is a delight to watch as they help her through things that are, as stated by Juno, way beyond her maturity level.

Juno's opening credits are creative, a blend of reality and animation that gives a hint that the filmmakers will deliver a visually satisfying film. They do. The dialogue is fabulous. Fans of Napoleon Dynamite might want to check out this meatier, edgier slice of cinema. Fans of Dan in Real Life will probably find much to like in the characters interactions. If you like to laugh and tear up within the same movie, check out Juno.