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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando



Ellen Page and Michael Cera in Juno (Fox Searchlight)


Juno (opening December 14 throughout San Diego) arrives in theaters like a breath of much-needed fresh air amidst the stale, bigger budgeted, and more pretentious awards contenders. Written by a former pole dancer, directed by a man who had his diapers changed on the set of Animal House and concerning an unwanted teen pregnancy, Juno doesn't boast an immediately impressive pedigree. But Juno delivers. Big time! It's one of the years best-written, best-acted and most thoroughly enjoyable films.

Okay I may have exaggerated when I said that director Jason Reitman had his diapers changed on the set of Animal House . But he was on that set when he was a mere eleven days old (dad Ivan Reitman was the producer), so it's possible. And writer Diablo Cody did get bored with her job at an ad agency and tried her hand as a stripper and pole dancer. She recounted those experiences in the book Candy Girl and also began to write about the sex industry on her blog The Pussy Ranch . According to Cody: I have to say that my trajectory was extremely unusual. Heck yeah! And that's probably why she has such a fresh voice. Now Cody and Reitman have teamed up for Juno , a comedy about a pregnant teen and the yuppie couple that wants to adopt her baby.

Who could have predicted that 2007 would turn out to be the year of the baby? Waitress , Knocked Up and now Juno , all deal with women who decide to see their unwanted pregnancies to full term. Hollywood may get bashed for its perceived liberal views on abortion, yet all three films--although allowing the women to consider abortion as an option--decide to have their characters see their pregnancies through. But in each case it's about personal choice rather than the abortion issue.

Lori Hoffman
December 18, 2007 at 06:00 PM
A terrific movie that takes the expected cliches and turns them upside down and inside out. Ellen Page should earn an Oscar nomination. -----


December 23, 2007 at 11:53 PM
This was such a beautiful movie - I was truly amazed by the depth each actor brought to their characters, and the smart, snappy dialogue. Though I went as a Jennifer Garner fan, I leave completely in love with Ellen Page as well. I hope she gets a Best Actress Nom for this role, and for Diablo to get one for her script.

January 13, 2008 at 08:08 AM
so true wish all parents were like that

January 17, 2008 at 10:44 PM
It's very good and it would make a nice double feature with Starting Out in the Evening. Both are intelligent and treat the characters maturely without making them inhuman. JK Rowlings is awesome and of course, Frank Langella is a must see in the latter.

January 19, 2008 at 04:49 AM
wow... interesting. Great movie. Go Ellen.

January 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM
Oops. I meant J.K. Simmons. Wow. What a slip with Potter on my mind.

April 03, 2008 at 10:23 PM
It is so sad to see that a movie that deals with the very serious subject of a teen age high school girl becoming pregnant ,is presented as a comedy. I also wonder who rates these films because "Juno" is rated as PG13 and the opening scene shows two teenagers having sex simply because the girl (Juno) is bored and wants to "try it". Other issues that are sending inappropriate messages to this very young age group, abound in this movie. The high school girls trying to see who will have sex first,or the most times. Juno's father commenting that he didn't think "that boy had the gumption to "stick his dick in his daughter". The very neatly packaged ending to the story that Girl has baby, girl gives away baby, Girl is happy now, sitting on the steps playing guitar and singing. Not a care in the world. This is so false. Becoming a mother and giving away your precius baby is an experience that carries with it sadness,depression, bad dreams, and as the teenage mother grows into adulthood she will always think of her child that she gave away and wonder where he is and how he is, The film does a terrible disservice to young girls by making so light of such a traumatic situation.

Beth Accomando
April 07, 2008 at 05:47 AM
Rita, I agree with you that teen pregnancy is a serious subject but I don't think that means that it must always be dealt with in a serious manner or that all teen pregnancies in movies must end in tragedy. Juno offers one story of teen pregnancy not an exploration of the problem as a whole. Although Juno is a comedy I don't think it makes light of the situation. It finds humor in the characters and their behavior but it really doesn't make a joke of the situation. Juno has enough insight to realize that she is not fit at this time to be a mother and she chooses to see the baby to full term and then give it up for adoption. The scene in the hospital reveals that it was a painful decision but it is a decision that Juno can live with and move on from. I also appreciate the fact that Juno's parents love her and support her, things that will help her cope with the consequences of her decision. As for the PG-13 rating, I'm sure quite a few people probably feel that such a subject merits an R, but in comparison to other films coming out now, I think the rating is fair. Thanks for your comment.

April 14, 2008 at 03:55 PM
Hi! I have been notified onlone that I received 4 interactions to my blog. I have searched on www, but can't find them. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. Thanks. Rita. I did receive the one from Beth Accomando, but that's all. Thanks

Leng Caloh
April 14, 2008 at 06:20 PM
Sorry about that, Rita. We've been having problems with spam, so your notifications were probably for spam comments that we closed out. - Leng Caloh, KPBS Managing Online Editor

Beth Accomando
April 14, 2008 at 09:45 PM
Yes Rita, there were 3 spam messages for viagra and prednisone that have since been removed. No actual comments from readers were removed. So far my response is the only direct response to your comment. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks.

noise punk artist
April 20, 2008 at 04:08 PM
juno=waste of time…. i think i want to go to business or law school now so i don’t ever come into contact with someone of such low stature. er i mean golly gee that movie was so hip and related to me. i’m just like her in so many ways…. so cute and related to my era…. wow i mean wow… (sarcasm dually noted!) brandon i'm sure this commercial of a film was meant for people like me but they could have summed it up in 30 seconds. and saved everyone's time. i feel bad for the projections that had to spew this trash out of them. "retrospect" please use another phrase because this film deserved no such word greater than 4 letters. good day and great review!