I recently saw the movie Juno; I’d heard nothing about it before it came out, but some friends saw it and highly recommended it. And then it suddenly seemed that everybody I knew had already seen it. Thankfully, I eventually managed to find a few friends who had not yet had the Juno experience, and finally managed to go see it.
See, the thing is, it doesn’t sound like it’d be my kind of movie. I tend to go for spectacle in movies, or over-the-top comedy — not movies about “issues”. So when people explained to me that Juno was about a pregnant teenager, I kind of just rolled my eyes, because those kinds of movies tend to be on the serious side — not my kind of movie. Nobody described it as a comedy about a pregnant teenager — but that’s exactly what it is.
Juno is an over-the-top comedy that manages to be sweet at the same time. Juno is the aforementioned pregnant teenager, and she’s a total spaz, which makes her utterly charming. Her friends are goofy and awkward, her family is surprisingly (and hilariously) supportive, and the perfect couple she finds to adopt her baby are alarmingly normal in comparison. I don’t want to go into the plot in any greater detail, simply because that is the fun of the movie. There is still a lot for me to talk about though.
I think Juno is one of the few movies I’ve seen that I consider perfectly crafted. The story as it arises from the characters is interesting, the actors perfectly suit their roles, the pacing is tight, the soundtrack fits closely, and the arc of the characters matches the arc of the plot events. It even manages to be really funny and offer over-the-top comedy without resorting to dick and fart jokes. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that — I loves me some Kevin Smith, after all.) It’s the sort of movie that’s so well put-together that it makes me wish other movies that I like were crafted just as well, even if I liked them more than I liked Juno.
So, to summarize my thoughts on Juno: fantastic movie. Given that the movie has been out for more than a month and the theatre was still quite full when I saw it on a weeknight — and given the award nominations — it seems that the word has gotten out, and most everyone agrees with me. If you haven’t seen it, you should.