MOVIE: ***** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
Ellen Page as JUNO MACGUFF
Michael Cera as PAULIE BLEEKER
Jennifer Garner as VANESSA LORING
Jason Bateman as MARK LORING
Allison Janney as BREN MACGUFF
J.K. Simmons as MAC MACGUFF
Olivia Thirlby as LEAH
Developed by: Jason Reitman
Studio: Fox Searchlight
BY KEVIN CARR
If you haven’t heard about the film “Juno” yet, you shouldn’t be watching movies. Like last year’s “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Juno” was the little independent film that could.
The story follows a high school girl named Juno (Ellen Page) who gets pregnant and must deal with her situation as she finds proper parents for her child. Along the way, with the endearing support of her whole family, Juno finds a young couple (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) who want to adopt her child. However, things aren’t terribly smooth in Juno’s journey, and she must learn to grow up faster than she really should.
Diablo Cody won an Oscar for her script of this film, and it was much deserved, no matter what the haters may say. While the dialogue is far from realistic and jam-packed with catch phrases and pop culture colloquialisms, it’s not meant to be a true representation of a real high school experience. Rather, the film encapsulates the charm of family in a hyper-realistic framework. Like “That 70s Show,” “Juno” is galvanized in its own time with charming and lovable characters that make things work.
The acting is stellar, with Ellen Page shining as the title character. Michael Cera plays directly to type as the caught-off-guard but utterly game father. The real joy in the film comes from Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons as Juno’s parents who are far from stereotypical and totally loving.
It’s hard for Hollywood to make any movie that doesn’t involve some sort of preaching. However, Jason Reitman managed to do one outside of the studio system. The fact that the film deals with teenage pregnancy – and doesn’t preach at all – is a feat of filmmaking.
Included on the single-disc DVD are deleted scenes, a gag reel, a gag take, a musical jam with the cast and crew (featuring a sizzling hot Olivia Thirlby), screen tests, a commentary with Reitman and Cody, a featurette about the creation of the film and spotlights on Juno, Leah, Bleeker, Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman.