Friday, March 7, 2008
For my money there is nothing worse than an indie movie that tries so hard... sooooooo very hard to be quirky. Let's be clear, I liked Juno, but for God's sake... level it off a bit.
Ellen Page stars as Juno which consists of her doing her Diablo Cody (the writer of the film) impersonation at 16. She doesn't talk like a 16 year old, but hey that's what's so hip and quirky about it, see... we're quirky... love us. Juno gets knocked up losing her virginity to her best friend (Michael Cera). Funny thing is (my back is actually on my cock) apparently in a film with characters this smart... we don't use condoms?!????! So... Juno looks through the Penny Saver ads (not making this up) for prospective adoptive parents. She finds Vanessa (the awful Jennifer Garner) and Mark (the always perfect Jason Bateman) who have been trying to have a kid for five years. They seem like the most immaculate couple at first glance.
During all of this, Juno looks to her father (JK Simmons) and stepmother (Allison Janey) for help. The ins and outs of pregnancy are glossed over and basically consists of moments in each trimester before the conclusion. Most of the plot I didn't like at all, however you get a little curveball later on that was both real and smartly handled. Juno feels jumbled together by a first time screenwriter... but oh wait it was... the director Jason Reitman (Thank for Smoking) would've been better off having someone take the script apart an reconstruct it.
Not to harp on it, but Page's performance feels as if she is just doing a SNL sketch of some famous person. She was much better in the underrated Hard Candy. I never got a sense that the film felt "real". Without the completely great supporting cast, I don't see this film eliciting enough laughs to make it worth the watch. Thanks to Simmons, Janney, Cera, and Bateman you get by just that little bit to keep you from noticing all the flaws.
One final note on the music... I've also heard a lot of talk about the "quirky" soundtrack. Watching the film, I found most of the music to be distracting and out of place. I again can see what they are trying to do with it, but it all seems too much. Just quit trying so damn hard to be liked. I feel like an annoying Jack Russell Terrier is jumping on me trying to get me to pet him.
Take out JK Simmons and Allison Janney and you get a 40/100