Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'll put my cards on the table now - I loved this film. So if you just wanted a quick recommendation, you could just head off to the movies now. The less trusting could read on.

Juno is a teenager who discovers she's pregnant, contemplates an abortion, decides on adoption, goes hunting for adoptive parents and then discovers that the best laid plans go awry when they involve human beings.

Human beings and how they're flawed is partly what this film is about. It's also about love and the strength of relationships. It's definitely life affirming, but don't start reaching for the sick bag. The dialogue is one of the films many strengths, and is witty and understated. There's no screaming or shouting - Paulie (the father of the baby)tells Juno that she broke his heart while managing only to sound mildly aggrieved. Juno's stepmother has some particularly good lines, and we both thought the pharmacist at the beginning of the film was a great character who could have been utilised more.

I liked the soundtrack (folksy) and I liked the fact that Juno and Paulie seemed genuinely young. The contrast between Juno's level of knowledge about pregnancy and that of Vanessa the adoptive mother-to-be was cleverly drawn. I liked how life at high school went on, and how Juno's parents were matter-of-fact. The flowering of Juno and Paulie's relationship was a joy to watch and the not-too-predictable ending made made me cry.

Anne's rating 5/5

I can't help comparing this with last year's Knocked Up -- another American comedy about unplanned pregnancy. Both are comedies about a young woman coping with an unexpected pregnancy. Juno is focused on a laid back, gentle comedy style while Knocked Up has a wide variety of comedy styles. Juno steered closer to the abortion option than Knocked Up (where the A-word wasn't mentioned), but still dealt with the option quite glibly.

Overall Juno is more realistic and a more gentle comedy than Knocked Up.

Ian's rating 4/5

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