tek's rating:

Juno (PG-13)
20th Century Studios; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; Searchlight; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; Hulu; iTunes; Max; Movies Anywhere; Vudu; YouTube

Caution: potential spoilers.

16-year-old Juno MacGuff (Elliot Page) discovers she is pregnant by her best friend, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). They only had sex once, the first time for both of them. They're both sort of awkward outcasts, who I guess are in a band together. Paulie himself is a nice enough guy, though he seems particularly awkward, and doesn't seem to talk a lot. But he supports whatever Juno wants to do. She also gets support from her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby), who helps Juno tell her father (J.K. Simmons) and stepmother (Allison Janney) about the situation. They're shocked, of course, but still supportive.

Juno finds a couple who are looking to adopt, Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa Loring (Jennifer Garner). Vanessa has always wanted to be a mother. Mark seems supportive and acts like he wants to be a father, but it does kind of seem like he isn't as eager as his wife. And we soon begin to see the two of them really don't have much in common. He used to be in a band, and is an aficionado of things like music, horror movies, and comic books. Currently he writes jingles, and apparently both he and his wife make a nice living. But she's more mature than he is, and he doesn't want to give up his own interests or dreams (or as she sees it, grow up). I can certainly relate. In any event, he seems to have more in common with Juno than with Vanessa, and the two of them start bonding. I don't feel that the film ever made it seem explicitly that either of them could possibly have an inappropriate interest in the other, but still there's always that vague concern in the back of the viewer's mind, I think. Nothing really ever came of their bonding, though, unless one considers it a catalyst to make Mark realize things weren't right with him and Vanessa anymore, but personally I think that was inevitable in any event.

I suppose I should also say that seeing what happened with the Lorings' marriage got Juno thinking about various things, and ultimately helped her realize (after a talk with her father) what she really wanted. But I won't say any more about the plot, don't want to spoil anything.

Anyway, the movie has an amazing feel of realism about it, perhaps in part because it was made so cheaply. Yeah, I suppose you'd call it an indie, in terms of the whole look and feel and attitude and everything. But the writing and acting are brilliant all around. I found all the characters pretty likable (Juno in particular is one of the coolest characters I think I've ever seen), and all the humor was incredible. So was the drama. I loved the simplicity of it all, the subtlety, the believability even when everyone was more consistently amusing than any real person could ever be. And the music... I went out and bought the soundtrack the same day I saw the movie. And also some orange Tic Tacs. Yeah, I'm probably forgetting to say plenty of important stuff. Sorry.

quirky index