Thursday, December 27, 2007

Movies: Juno

I once took a screenwriting class in high school, and it was a good experience (I even penned a full-length screenplay of my own). One thing I learned was that it's difficult to write witty dialogue, and it's even harder to write witty dialogue for a comedy. But "Juno," a movie directed by Jason Reitman, is chock full of too-cool-for-school dialogue. It's a comedy-drama about a young girl who finds herself pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption - and all the consequences that follow from the decision.

The movie stars Ellen Page, who you might remember from "Hard Candy." She is perfect for this role, and displays some impressive chops - one part snide, Daria-esque sarcasm, and another part confused vulnerability. Alongside her is Michael Cera (playing a character virtually identical to the one in Superbad) and Jennifer Garner. Garner in particular is impressive; this is one of the few movies where she doesn't play a butt-kicking action heroine, and she makes the most of it.

If you're not into rapid-fire conversations that sometimes reference pop culture (yes, even Dario Argento's "Suspiria" is mentioned), you may not like this movie. The relationship between Juno and her baby's father is wrapped up too neatly for my taste, and the eventual ending is so saccharine you might just leave the theater early. Still, though, it's overall a good movie.

Rating: 8/10


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