A Review of Jason Reitman’s “Juno”

Ellen Page and Michael Cera: Finally, a teen movie where the kids look like real kids. 

For Realz, 17 December 2007

Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

Ellen Page (in a star-making performance) plays an accidentally pregnant smart-alleck 16 year-old named Juno (named after the Roman goddess, not the town in Alaska) in the latest hyper-smart comedy from Jason Reitman (director of “Thank You for Smoking”). “Juno” follows the latest Hollywood trend of quirky comedies that actually deal with some heavy issues. Unlike most of those films, “Juno” manages to stay funny even as it gets serious and treats its characters and audience with respect by keeping the jokes coming even as it gets cutesy or plays for tears.

Screenwriter Diablo Cody (a pen-name destined for greatness) has a knack for writing hipster dialog that doesn’t wear thin or get annoying. She manufactures big laughs from both quasi-goofy pop culture references and nervous situations inherent to adolescence. She keeps things fresh even when the film starts showing its sweet side. Think of her as Judd Apatow without as much of the raunchy humor. Director Reitman gives the film the appropriate indie-feel and populates the movie with a great soundtrack of songs whose lyrics perfectly match Cody’s storyline and dialog.

Ellen Page is eternally likable in the lead role, and the decision Juno makes in the end feels totally organic and true to her character, giving the film a ring of truth instead of feeling manufactured to make the audience feel good. Michael Cera proves again to be one of the most amiable and subtly funny young actors working today. His performance is a perfect companion piece to his more overtly hilarious work in the riotous “Superbad”. The rest of the supporting cast is equally likable, and even Jennifer Garner, and actress who always seems to try so hard, seems perfectly cast here as an adoptive mother-to-be who tries way too hard.

Though not as laugh-out-loud funny as most of Apatow’s films, “Juno” swings as one of the best of the quirky indie-comedies of the past five years. It’s funny and has a heart, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with it like “Little Miss Sunshine” did, and instead, thanks to Ellen Page and Diablo Cody, feels like the real deal.

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database:



  1. Hi,
    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I am going to add you to my blogroll, because sometimes I watch movies and don’t review to them. Either because I don’t have time or I forget or I just plain don’t feel like it. So if you don’t mind, when something like this happens would it bother you if I referred to your blog. Send people to read your reviews as well?

    Going to screenings is advantageous. Mainly because of the Q&A that shortly follows most of them. I get to meet fantastic people/creators. It truly is a learning experience and I hope that I can share my education with anyone that comes across my blog.


    Romina, I would be honored and overjoyed if you directed people my way. I will gladly add you to my blogroll as well and plan to check back often to see your insider views of upcoming films. Thanks! –DHS

  2. BTW. Juno was amazing. I saw it a while back and ahhh I really want to see it again!!!

    Yes, the more I think about it, the more I like it and find myself laughing. Great movie! –DHS

  3. yes. I was just talking to a friend that I was not instantly saying the movie was sooo great until I thought about it. It was more instantly cute with Ellen and of course the soundtrack is one of the best of the year. Then again I don’t think Cody or Reitman would want you to instantly “love” it. The more you think about it, the more you appreciate Cody’s capturing of the indie aesthetic and of course the art direction was great!

    Lisa, I totally agree. It’s weird how the film has stayed in my mind for so long. After watching it, I thought it was cute and funny but I wouldn’t give it much thought the next day. Here I am over a week later still thinking about it. It’s very unique for a comedy to be able to accomplish that. –DHS

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