I missed this one last year and watched it, yesterday, on HBO on Demand, as I "enjoyed" the bug Henry passed on to me. (Thanks, pre-school.) I liked it, it was fun, great dialogue, but as someone else (Hi Andrew!) pointed out, the dialogue and delivery was a little too snappy and clever to be believable. It bugged him. I'll say I NOTICED it, but still appreciated the humor.
The plot in a nano-second, for those of you who didn't see it: 16-year-old hip, but sweet, girl has sex (once) with a geeky guy she has an inexplicable crush on, gets pregnant, and decides to go through with the pregnancy.
There aren't a lot of deep ah-ha moments in this one. But it's nice to have a non-movie-of-the-week version of this age-old story, isn't it? The performances, especially Ellen Page, as Juno, are first-rate.
Other things I liked, aside from Juno--who is, I must say, an incredibly appealing character:
All the cultural references--slasher movies, classic rock, Les Pauls, etc etc.
Jason Bateman's understated and cool performance as the potential adoptive dad...I didn't know he had it in him
Jennifer Garner...Her character was uptight, but in a believable way, not in the OCD, unsympathetic way people of this ilk are usually portrayed. Again, a nice understated and real version of a stereotypical type of character. I didn't want to be her, thought she was annoying, but liked her and felt sympathetic toward her...that's a lot to pull off.
Allison Janney...Again, too witty, but her delivery is so great I totally forgave her.
Blue Slushies. I need a blue Slushy, like, now. Though I'd prefer not to throw it up upon consumption. (Bit of a spoiler, sorry)
I also need that Slinky t-shirt Juno is wearing toward the end.
All in all, great rental. I was happy I got to check it out.
I had the normal upbringing with regard to movies, which is to say I went occasionally but nobody, including me, made too big a deal out of them. That changed in my mid-twenties, when I lived, for a brief and unhappy year, in Chicago. I knew few people, didn’t have a lot of work, was lonely, and needed to entertain myself. I discovered that I loved going to movies alone. That they left me in a contemplative, introspective state of mind that I really enjoyed.
When I moved to New York and began freelancing, I found that going to movies helped me write. I’d review my notes on a story, go to a movie, come back, sit down and the story—which had nothing at all to do with the movie—would just pour out. Maybe I was letting my subconscious work while the rest of my brain enjoyed itself. Maybe it was that contemplative state of mind I was talking about. Who knows? The only thing I really knew for sure was that it worked.
When I was writing my first book, I often saw a movie every morning as a prelude to the afternoon’s work. That meant I saw A LOT of movies, some great, some awful. You can’t be too picky when you’re seeing movies at that pace. My favorite movie experience during that time was when I went to see “Lord of the Rings.”
I had not read the books. It was long. I hadn’t read any reviews—I almost never read reviews (too many spoilers, and the critics’ views have a way of worming their way into your brain). I wasn’t totally thrilled about it, but I had few other choices. It was lunchtime, and on the way I stopped, on impulse, at Murray’s and got a sesame bagel with whitefish salad. And I picked up my customary enormous diet coke on the way in.
Well. The movie was beautiful—it was shot in New Zealand—and enormously entertaining. It had Ian Mackellan in it (a big plus), and the bagel with whitefish salad and (it almost goes without saying) the diet coke were sublime. And it was a LONG movie. So I really got to relish the experience. It was, in short…perfection. And that, my friends, is how this blog--which is, in essence, a movie lover's diary--got its name.