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.