“Juno” has a lovely, realistic, and dysfunctional feel to it. The dialogue is witty and intelligent, the characters are believable, the indie music works well with the feel of the film, and the pacing is spot on. Ellen Page is wonderful as the main character Juno. She delivers her lines with perfect timing and plays the character of a young teen faced with a very familiar problem, teen pregnancy, well. My only complaint about the film centers around the wit of Juno. For most of the movie the sarcasm works very well but there are moments when it gets to be a bit much.
Michael Cera is wonderful as the part-time lover and full time friend, Paulie. Cera is able to exist on screen without saying much in the process and the film is stronger because of that. I liked the fact that the writers decided to make the film more about Juno and her decisions about the baby than going the traditional route by focusing on the boyfriend and girlfriend. It has a very feminist feel to it; the woman (Juno) has all the power when it comes to deciding to put the baby up for adoption.
Jennifer Garner plays the adoptive mother with the right amount of uptightness and everything in its place attitude (She seems like a woman that frequents IKEA). It is only when the audience sees her later in the film caring for a little girl that we get to truly see her maternal side. When she feels the baby kick in Juno’s stomache it is a touching moment. Unfortunately her husband, played by Jason Bateman, does not feel the same way. Bateman plays the role of the adoptive father, a man with many dreams that he has regulated into one room. This relationship makes a statement, nothing is as perfect as it seems.
Ultimately when the wit and sarcasm slide away you have a very touching movie about a kid that gets knocked up and the very adult decisions she must make in the process. It is at times extremely funny, sad, and an intelligent take on a old story.
4 out of 5 stars