Friday, January 18, 2008

Juno

We caught a morning showing of Juno. Carol liked it a lot. I liked it with reservations.

For me the biggest problem was that it kept falling in love with itself. Young Ellen Page is so beautiful and so fetching and so talented she doesn''t need to hype the cutesy quotient as she does from tim to time. And the orginal songs that seem to have captivated everybody are (again) so cutesy-poo and self-conscious I was tempted to stick Milk Duds in my ears.

That said, it's a fine, funny, endearing little movie. Michael Cera, the boy from Arrested Development, plays teenage male innocence as well as I've ever seen it done. Yes, for all that we hear Teenagers Run Wild, there are boys and girls who haven't been caught up in their cultural moment.

The adults, especially Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons, are excellent. I'm happy that director Jason Reitman chose to make her parents workingclass people. Decent, hardworking, loving parents. I was less taken with the performances of Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman only because they had much less to work with. They play a wealthy yuppie couple that can't have children and arrange to adopt the baby Juno is famously carrying. Nonetheless, the plot twist that comes at the end of the second act gives Garner and Bateman some real moments and they're up to them.

For all wingnut bullshit we hear about family values from homegrown Talibanistas like Mike Huckabee, this to me is what the phrase should mean. This family draws together in a time of crisis with understanding, forgiveness and a determination to make it all come out right.

Hard to imagine anybody not liking this sweet fresh film.

3 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband had the same problems with it you had (too clever by half) but I fell for it completely. It won me over many times, but when she hands that baby over to Jennifer Garner, a single Mom now, I swooned. What a sweet surprise.

Dave Zeltserman said...

Ellen Page was in "Hard Candy" last year. Controversial movie, but never seemed realistic enough to effect me, still an interesting performance from her. JK Simmons is such a chameolean like actor. I'll always remember him as Schillinger from Oz, but he can play a nice guy just as convincingly. Ed, my thoughts on Juno are pretty much the same as yours--and like your wife, my wife loved this.

bobby_vasquez said...

I saw it and it is a great movie. Very funny! I can see your points, but they did not bother me as much as they did you.