First Published: Saturday, January 05, 2008 via mySpace
You know… Juno
Okay, so it’s January 5 and I still haven’t posted my 2008 New Years Resolutions yet, but I totally intend to…like, maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll just tell you that two of my resolutions are to see more movies and to write more, which is why you’re now reading a blog about a movie…
I’ve been anticipating Juno for a while now. It was “playing in select cities” and then was supposed to open “nationwide” on Christmas Day. Well, I guess when they say “nationwide” they mean “everywhere but here,” ‘cuz when I went to go see it on Christmas, it wasn’t playing…ugh. So, when I found out it was opening Jan 4 here, I was pumped!
For those of you living under a rock w/o cable or commercials, Juno is the story of an awkward/geeky 16 year old girl (Ellen Page) who gets knocked up by her equally awkward best friend/boyfriend Pauly Bleeker (played by Michael Cera of Arrested Development fame). Her plan is to have the baby and give it up for adoption to a couple of childless yuppies (played by Jennifer Garner and the DELICOUS Jason Bateman). She befriends the Jason Bateman character as they bond over punk music and slasher films, tries to come to terms w/her baby’s daddy and just basically deals with crazy family life, including her Step-mom Bren, played to perfection by Allison Janney (West Wing).
But, like everything else worth getting excited over, it’s not the 20 second plot summary that makes it worth seeing. So, without further ado, here are the Top 3 reasons you should go see Juno:
3. The characters are great.
Juno is your typical “non-conformist” teenage girl. She plays guitar, likes the Stooges and is clueless about pregnancy, boys, and–well– just about everything. When she tells her dad she’s pregnant he says: “I just thought you were the kind of girl who knows when to say when.” She responds with: “I don’t know what kind of girl I am.” Which sums her up nicely.
Then there’s Juno’s bff/bf/baby’s daddy Pauly Bleeker, who spends most of the movie in ridiculously short running shorts and has whiter legs than I do. He’s madly in love with Juno, but really doesn’t know what to do, so he just leaves her alone to fumble through pregnancy by herself. He offers to go w/her to a sonogram appointment but she tells him no because… well… she wouldn’t want him to waste the donut holes he bought for a stupid dr. appointment.
The adults in this movie are really the scene stealers. Juno’s parents are kinda crazy/kooky, but are super supportive of Juno. When asked if he ever had a dream, something he knew he was BORN to do, Juno’s dad says; “yeah, heating and air conditioning.” ahahah! And her step-mom Bren is equally as interesting. She’s a nail technician/dog lover who takes her youngest daughter Liberty Bell (yep, that’s right) to “Ice Skating for Tots” and dresses her up in tutus. My guess is that there was more to this storyline in earlier drafts of the movie, but you only get a glipse of it here. Even though Bren seems fairly disinterested in Juno, she really gives the sonogram technician a real tongue-lashing when she suggests that Juno wouldn’t be a good mom.
The adoptive couple are played to perfection by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. When you first meet them, they’re the picture of suburban bliss– Garner artfully arranging hydrangeas in a crystal vase, Bateman with his buttoned-up collard shirt and sweater. Then you find out that Bateman (can’t remember his name in the movie to save my life.. and it was only a couple hours ago) is a former rocker who secretly wants to live the rock star life again. I had a crush on Jason Bateman back in my Teen magazine days and now I’ve re-kindled the crush. He’s so funny, witty and downright YUMMY in this movie. I heart him.
2. The writing is outstanding
I kinda hate it when people compare movies/books/whatever to other stuff ‘cuz if you hate the original that they’re referencing it will turn you off. So, it is with much trepidation that I say this movie kinda reminds me of a mixture between Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine. There are some super “boss” quotable lines in this movie a la Napoleon (without all the ridiculousness and dancing). And the quirky humor and the lovable/not-so-lovable characters remind me a lot of the family in Little Miss. Regardless, the writing in this movie is top-notch, especially the teenage dialog. I wish I had 1/10 of the wittiness, snarkiness and sarcasm that Juno has in this movie.
But, the Number 1 reason to go see this movie: The music is AMAZING!
I read something online last week about how the soundtrack for the movie is supposed to be the “next Garden State” (for the record, loved the Garden State Soundtrack…but didn’t really “get” the movie), so I was expecting to hear some good songs. What I didn’t expect was how central to the movie they would be and how much I would want to rush out and buy the CD. I haven’t bought a CD in probably 5 years, but I’ll be getting this one on Tuesday when it comes out. If they would have had the CDs for sale in the lobby, I would’ve bought them on the spot! It was just so amazing. You can see the song list here. I may have to download a few from iTunes before buying the disc!
So, there you have it…my 3 reasons why this movie was so good. And, I’m a little closer to accomplishing at least a couple of my resolutions this year. So, do me a solid and go see it!
Oh, and btw– I also really enjoyed Waitress, which I saw last week on DVD and Knocked Up which I saw a long time ago. All movies about women who don’t want to be pregnant, but all vastly different.
Don’t try reading too much into that, okay?? ahahah!