Melissa Walker

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 Melissa Walker

Did you love Juno? (I kind of didn’t)

juno_ver2.jpg So I saw Juno last night. And–I know, I know–everyone loves it. Overall, I thought it was a good movie. Maybe my expectations were raised, maybe I’d read about it too much in The New York Times, maybe I’m jealous of Diablo Cody for writing it (okay, I know that part’s true)… but I just didn’t love it.
For the first 20 minutes or so, I had to wince at some of the dialogue–it felt forced and self-conscious. Juno just didn’t seem 16 to me. At times, she seemed 29. References to Goonies and Thundercats? Yes, I love them. I get them. But do they ring true for a 16-year-old?
I also half appreciated that there were no cell phones or online moments, but I also was slightly thrown off by their exclusion. I kept thinking, “Is this now? Or is this some kind of uber-anytime like The Royal Tenenbaums?”
My bottom line: Diablo Cody is a great writer, the acting was solid, it was a sweet (but not sickly so) film, and I’ll be watching her next one. I just felt like there were speedbumps along the way.
Did anyone else have these issues? I’d love to hear what people are loving and not about the movie.
Also, Michael Cera is just adorable. Have I mentioned that? It wins a lot of points with me.

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  1. Julia C. says:

    I totally agree about the first 20 minutes! The witty banter was just a little too cheeky for me. Kind of tedious like Gilmour Girls and Dawson’s Creek were at times (though I am a GIANT DC fan). At first I was sitting there like, “I don’t think I can take 2 hours of this,” but I think it kind of settled down after like 20 minutes, as you said. Overall, I really liked it. I thought that it was unique and there weren’t a lot of stereotypes… like her parents were reasonable people and/but didn’t totally flip in the usual way. And it wasn’t some soul-searching teen pregnancy thing. I like how the focus was shifted all around.
    I am starting to wonder if Michael Cera isn’t kind of a one-trick-pony though. All in all, I give it an A-.

  2. But when the one trick is that good? Yay! We’ll see him tested in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
    And yes, I totally forgot to mention that I adored the parents. Very cool. Thank you for confirming that “first 20 minutes” thing.

  3. Kelbey says:

    Well, I was super psyched to see Juno when I first heard about it.
    I mean, Michael Cera? I adored him in superbad and arrested development.
    However, the beginning did make me second guess the whole movie. What she said just didn’t seem real or right for a 16-year old.
    It wasn’t the goonies comments that threw me off, (I love the goonies and I’m 16-but that may just be due to my movie buff cousin), but the mere fact that everything sounded so scripted. I, for one, would never be able to think of what she says off the top of my head.
    I agree with Julia about the lack of stereotypes though, that nobody had an over-the-top soap opera freak out. I appreciated that.
    and Michael Cera was freakishly adorable, but not in the obvious, sickly way that teen movies just seem to love.
    His one trick is going to get old, but I still love it for the time being.

  4. grossy says:

    I have to agree – I thought it was a good movie but not worthy of the buzz – it’s funny at times and the performances are solid, but most characters lacked any real depth, aside from Juno’s, it was full of obvious and and painfully trendy visual metaphors, such as the sterile McMansion vs. smaller, “real” homes. What was the movie about, really? That true love exists? teenagers can be wiser than adults? That some kind of self-discovery and inner truth as embodied in Juno’s character is the enemy of a perpetual adolescence? Maybe we should accept Juno for what it is, a cute little movie, and nothing more.

  5. vonnie says:

    I’m still trying to decide if I want to see it. Probably wait for the dvd, like I usually do, lol.
    http://socialitedreams.wordpress.com

  6. Abbey Eileen says:

    I was supposed to see Juno but it was sold out. Would you still recommend seeing it? My 15-yr-old brother saw it and liked it, but my 19-yr-old brother thought it was stupid. Is it worth seeing anyways?

  7. Yes, I still totally recommend seeing it. It’s good. But it’s not one you HAVE to see on the big screen–it is easily a netflix day.

  8. Mama Zen says:

    Haven’t seen it yet, but a reference to Thundercats? By a sixteen year old?

  9. Cyd says:

    Completely agreed with you all on Cera, witty but soul-less banter, etc. But you know, it’s all about the line: “My boyfriend’s junk smells like pie.”
    I liked it overall because of its practical and original take on teenage pregnancy. It certainly isn’t “For Keeps?”

  10. Barrie Summy says:

    I’m going to see it this evening! Now, I’m even more curious…

  11. Agree that “My boyfriend’s junk smells like pie” is a great line.
    One that my friend Anne reminded me was a cringer: “Honest to blog?” Yikes.
    But most of it was good–you guys are right.

  12. Funny, I had a similar reaction – though to be fair, I was kind of distracted throughout (remind me to tell you why later), but still – definitely going for the royal tennenbaums thing in terms of timeline. I dunno, I guess I was kind of tired of the Diablo Cody/former stripper/blah blah blah press machine before going in. But I love Jason Bateman and Michael Cera so much (Arrested Development’s Father/Son, reunited! Whoo!), it saved it for me. Juno totally sounded like a 30 year old trapped in a 16 year old’s body – I sort of expected that, kind of like how sophisticated/overly witty the dialogue tends to be in your Gilmore/Dawsons/OC’s of the world. I’m rambling (which is one reason why Diabloe Cody actually SELLS her screenplays, and I don’t ;) ), but my point is, I totally know where you are coming from.

  13. Maggie says:

    I thought Juno was great. With this whole Juno-is-too-old-for-herself thing, some people are just wise beyond their age. And, hello, just because someone is sixteen doesn’t mean she can’t have interests from the past.
    I think that this movie was about learning to deal with the crap that life feeds you. Juno shows that we can combat the normalness of everyday life with insane language, obscure DVDs, making music, huge blue slushies, and taking the time to watch movies just like this.

  14. Dawn says:

    I’m 20 and I totally loved the Goonies, so I think it’s something that has been passed down. I know my brother and I watched them together, and he watched Thundercats as well, and he’s 18. So I don’t think it’s that far-fetched.

  15. Kwana says:

    Sorry totally late here, but will comment anyway. (I just found you blog (s) today).
    I really liked Juno and would recommend it for it’s artsy way. That said, I didn’t go ga-ga like the rest of the world. Glad to see I’m not alone. I thought it may be because I have teenage twins of my own and couldn’t wrap my head around the uber-understanding parents.
    Real life? Not.
    But the writing was super sharp and I loved that.

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