Quirky, awkward, and truthful could describe "Juno" the indie sleeper hit of 2007. Directed by Jason Reitman and starring Ellen Page in a star-making role. The film was written by the equally quirky and unorthodox Diablo Cody. Her dialogue is snappy and full of pop slang, but at the moment feels real and truthful "Juno" was nominated for 4 Academy Awards with Cody picking up the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
The story takes place in
Minnesota (Yea, I live there) over the course of the 4 seasons, believe it or not, it's not cold and snowy year round. Sixteen-year-old Juno MacGuff has sex with Paulie Bleeker a friend of hers played by Michael Cera and shortly thereafter finds out she's pregnant. Juno lives with her dad (J.K. Simmons), her stepmom Bren (Alison Janney) and her little sister in a boring middle-class suburb. After talking with her best friend Leah and breaking the news to Paulie, she decides to go to a clinic for an abortion. She has second thoughts and decides to keep the baby and give it up for adoption.
Juno finds the right parents from an ad in the Penny Saver, Mark, and Vanessa, a young couple from
St. Cloud (about an hour from Minneapolis). Upon meeting them she really seems to click with Mark, played by Jason Bateman who at the time also played Michael Cera's father in the TV Show "Arrested Development". However, Mark is a little reluctant to become a father and still has some growing up to do while Vanessa, played by Jennifer Garner, is the one really pushing and desperately wants to be a mother. Juno is very cool about the whole thing but is soon overwhelmed with "things beyond her maturity level". The relationship between Juno and Mark starts to get a little weird and the whole plan is on the brink of collapse, all while she and Paulie work to find out what this all means for them and their future.
Ellen Page makes this movie what it is as she melds perfectly with Cody's dialogue. As for Michael Cera, he literally plays the same character no matter what he is in, although he does fit in well within the story as a tall lanky dufus. Watching this movie about 8 years later it does seem a little dated, but it's a comedy that for its time period was fun and entertaining.