Juno – Review
Here’s another little movie which I just saw and which I really liked.
It’s new out on DVD in this neck of the woods so that means it’s probably available everywhere now.
‘Juno’ tells the story of a quirky and charming teenage girl who becomes pregnant and decides to see the pregnancy through despite some opposition from predictable sources and some support from more surprising sources.
It’s a funny, clever, warm little film and I enjoyed it very much indeed.
As is now customary with my reviews, I feel obliged to give you all a warning-or-two as to why you might not enjoy it as much as I did.
Reason 1: It is quite a ‘Young’ film. I had heard great things about it, rented it, and fifteen minutes in, I was saying, “This is good but it’s a teen movie, I’ve rented a teen-movie and I’m forty-four years old and my wife (younger and prettier) will kill me in a minute…”. The sassiness and the pop-references and (damn!) the inescapable Youth of the leads might make you feel it’s not the movie for you.
Reason 2: It’s… just… very… ‘American’. Now, I like that!! Many of my favourite books and an absolute shed-load load of my fave movies are unabashedly American and I make no apologies for it.
I just think it’s worth pointing this 'American' thing out, particularly in conjunction with Reason 1 above. You see, the juxtaposition of ‘Young’ and ‘American’ descriptors for a modern movie raises images of ‘John Hughes’, ‘Breakfast Clubs’, ‘Ferris Thingie’ and even, God help us, ‘Clueless’.
These comparisons may well put certain potential movie-renters off.Indeed, at times, ‘Juno’ can be slightly-reminiscent of some of these teen angst masterpieces.
But, if you can manage to get yourself over my reasons 1 and 2, I think there’s a good chance that you may really enjoy ‘Juno’.
It is very sharply written and the girl who plays ‘Juno’ is simply wonderful, as is her Dad and her boyfriend and… well there’s just a lot of good performances in here.
It’s funny, it’s human, it’s warm…
But the thing that really won me over is how it reverses the expectations raised by some of its characters.
You know how you see someone in a film and you just know what they will be like and how they will act? Well I drew these sort of conclusions as this little movie unfolded and it confounded me in several respects.
It was smarter than I was and I like that a lot.
Finally, there’s a nice hint of truth about the way ‘Juno’ resolves itself. The actions of the characters always seem somehow grounded in reality.
So anyone for small-scale American teen movie?
If you can get over any qualms you might have, I think you might be in for a nice surprise.
PS: Jane, a fellow-blogger who's posts I admire, has just posted a passionate and obviously heartfelt reply to my review of this film. You can read it by clicking here. I think it is very good and I recommend you consider it before swanning off to rent this movie on the basis of my naive word alone.