August 03, 2008

Juno this

We saw the whole thing and can't believe Robbo's wife talked us into seeing it.

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Plot summary: bored sixteen year old jumps her lackluster boyfriend, gets knocked up, and we are treated to her dreary sarcasm as she deals with the adults in her miserable life.

Yips! from Robbo: Upon reflection, I'm of a couple different minds about this movie. I recall that when it first came out last year it picked up a number of hop-ons like K-Lo over at the Corner who praised the fact that somebody in Hollywood actually had the guts to go with a story-line that featured an adoption rather than an abortion. It must have pressed some buttons somewhere because a few weeks later I heard Ellen Page, the young star, being interviewed on NPR where she felt compelled to re-establish her enlightenment creds by stating that of course in real life she is pro-choice. (Yes, yes, it can be argued that she made the choice of adoption in the movie, but spare me: "pro-choice" is simply polite political fiction for "pro-abortion".)

Eh. As for the story, much of the flick fell into that people-behaving-badly-then-whining-about-it genre (so well exemplified, for example, by Sideways) that I loathe. Also, I have never bought into the wisdom of the cinematic idiot-savant, whether the idiot is a gardener, a historical bystander, or, in this case, a teenager. (And here I start with the axiom that anyone under the age of about 35 is an idiot.)

On the other hand, I found some of the dialog amusing (albeit at times confusing). I also enjoyed Michael Cera, although he was basically doing his George-Michael Bluth routine und if he vas a high-school track star zen I am Mickey Mouse! Jennifer Garner was easy to look at, although she had that frightened-horse look about her eyes that speaks of no good, psychologically. Jason Bateman was just plain creepy as the 40-odd-year old adolescent complaining that he had to do dumb, boring work and be responsible n' stuff, and it's all so unfair.

All in all, I am in fact glad that I saw the flick, although I'm not sure I'd want to again.

Posted by LMC at August 3, 2008 08:15 PM | TrackBack

I liked it. How many other Hollywood movies have someone make a Big Mistake like she did and then tough out the path to adoption? It reminded me a bit of a guy with whom I used to work -- he and his now wife (then girlfriend) made a similar mistake at an early age, and also gave the child up for adoption. They went on to later marry and have 4 kids, but always felt the gap from that first child. They ended up going to Somalia and adopting another child - and one who probably wouldn't have lived without their intervention.

Posted by: tdp at August 4, 2008 07:36 AM

See...I've been on the fence about seeing this and this isn't helping any. Everyone I know has said how I simply *must* see it because we adopted and so therefore we'll just be enthralled and touched...but I'm skeptical.

Posted by: beth at August 4, 2008 09:47 AM

One of the reasons that this independent film got so much attention is that it was made for less money that was spent on an average "Friends" episode - or something like that.

If you want to compare El Mariachi with The French Connection, one is obviously going to be a lot better, But El Mariachi was made for less than 20,000 US dollars. Not that long ago. But El Mariachi was important for launching more than a trilogy of movies. (Hint: Who directed Once Upon a Time in Mexico?)

Is Juno as good as good as You've Got Mail? No or any other big-budget film? No that isn't the point really. Did it have anything interesting to say? A lot of people seem to think so.

You are free to disagree.

(Note: "You've Got Mail" plot summary. Owner of an independent book store is put out of business by a large chain, and we are treated to her dreary sarcasm as she deals with the adults in her miserable life. Or something like that.)

Posted by: Zendo Deb at August 5, 2008 09:12 PM