juno.jpgrating-4.5Already getting all the indie cred and the big marketing campaign, everyone's already heard enough about Juno. It's even become a talking point for both the pro-life and pro-choice activists, each laying claim on the story's support for their particular viewpoint. As is pointed out by the filmmakers, that stance doesn't really exist and the movie is just a reflection of young female scriptwriter Diablo Cody's experiences with having a friend who was pregnant in high school. It is a simple tale of strange people's lives colliding through relationships and the life of an unborn baby.

Juno, played by the excellent  and beautiful Ellen Page, is a teen who discovers she's pregnant at the hands of Michael Cera's Bleeker, the same uncomfortable character that Cera's been playing so well since "Arrested Development". Juno weighs her options and, after much thinking, defaults to giving up her child to a family that desires one of their own. What follows in the plot is a series of chances for excellent comedic scenes and name-dropping indie hand-jobbing, particularly in the music arena. Jennifer Garner and Jason Batemen play her spawn's prospective new parents and the difference in all the character archetypes grating against each other is fodder for plenty of strange moments and long, hard laughs.

Juno is the type of film that appeals to a certain subset of people who drone on endlessly about boring and irritating bullshit, such as Lost In Translation or Wes Anderson's wretched films, but also crosses over into the realm of more absurist and rude comedies, such as Superbad, giving the viewer a more balanced experience all around and allowing the strengths of both subsets to cancel out the other's faults.

The movie's script is sharp and witty and, despite the fact that the movie is tremendously overhyped, is a joy to watch. The characters develop nicely and the movie is not just carried by its excellent cast. And that's taking nothing away from the cast, who are all brilliant. Cera is up to his par of comedic brilliance, though the movie lacks the chance for him to have a scene with his former screen father, Jason Bateman. Bateman is somewhat restrained in his role, but also brings much of his deadpan charm over from the "Arrested Development" days. Jennifer Garner takes on the harder straight role in the film, playing an over-serious and stuffy wannabe mother, without any real whit of comedy to her role. J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney turn in smaller but amazingly funny roles as Juno's parents, appeared occassionally to provide some strong comic relief with a bitter charm. All the real charisma, though, comes from Ellen Page, whose every move, expression, and word is pitch-perfect and makes you adore the character.

The one major annoyance of the film is its overheavy reliance on shitty indie pop as background music that drowns your mind and soul in excrement until you want to shoot yourself in the head to end the droning whine of some emofuck douchetard. Fortunately, I'm the type of person who can focus on the rest of the movie and forget about the bad parts, which were blessedly few in this particular film. The indie touches are a bit much, but it can hardly detract much from the excellent whole.

For both comedy and character drama, this is the most accurately overhyped film of the year and deserves most of the laurels being laid on it. Well worth the viewing for those who can appreciate a good movie that doesn't require gore, explosions, or jokes about bongs and farting.

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