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JUNO stars Ellen Page as the title character, a whip-smart teen confronting an unplanned pregnancy by her classmate Bleeker (Cera). With the help of her hot best friend Leah (Thirlby), Juno finds her unborn child a "perfect" set of parents: an affluent suburban couple, Mark and Vanessa (Bateman and Garner), longing to adopt. Luckily, Juno has the total support of her parents (Simmons and Janney) as she faces some tough decisions, flirts with adulthood and ultimately figures out where she belongs.
Somewhere between the sharp satire of Election and the rich human comedy of You Can Count On Me lies Juno, a sardonic but ultimately compassionate story of a pregnant teenage girl who wants to give her baby up for adoption. Social misfit Juno (Ellen Page, Hard Candy, X-Men: The Last Stand) protects herself with a caustic wit, but when she gets pregnant by her friend Paulie (Michael Cera, Superbad), Juno finds herself unwilling to terminate the pregnancy. When she chooses a couple who place a classified ad looking to adopt, Juno gets drawn further into their lives than she anticipated. But Juno is much more than its plot; the stylized dialogue (by screenwriter Diablo Cody) seems forced at first, but soon creates a richly textured world, greatly aided by superb performances by Page, Cera, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as the prospective parents, and J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) and Allison Janney as Juno's father and stepmother. Director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) deftly keeps the movie from slipping into easy, shallow sarcasm or foundering in sentimentality. The result is smarter and funnier than you might expect from the subject matter, and warmer and more touching than you might expect from the cocky attitude. Page's performance is deceptively simple; she never asks the audience to love her, yet she effortlessly carries a movie in which she's in almost every scene. That's star power. --Bret Fetzer
Get to Know Juno's Cast
Ellen Page (Juno MacGuff)
Michael Cera (Paulie Bleeker)
Jennifer Garner (Vanessa Loring)
Jason Bateman (Mark Loring)
Allison Janney (Bren MacGuff)
J.K. Simmons (Mac MacGuff)
More from Screenwriter Diablo Cody
More from Fox
Stills from Juno
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Diablo Cody writes an incredibly balanced script with an intellect and sharp wit for all of the wonderful characters involved in "Juno" (and No, not named after Juneau, Alaska!) Good friends Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera) and his sixteen-year-old 'friend' Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) decide while up in his bedroom chilling out to horror movies that it might be a fun idea to make out a little, then, oops, they went way overboard. Now Juno faces pregnancy in her junior year of high school. Having a friend in Leah (Olivia Thirlby) who sticks with her from her hamburger phone call placed to the helpline and going to a place where Juno quickly exits and decides to go full term and adopt out 'the' baby to a 'deserving' couple. The two girls find the Lorings in the PennySaver free newspaper personal ads and strike gold while sitting in a park one day.
"Oh, wicked pic in the PennySaver, by the way. Super classy - not like those people with the fake woods in the background. Honestly who do they think they're fooling"? - Juno
Vanessa Loring (Jennifer Garner) was born to be a mother and is uptight over Juno's care and that of the baby while her husband, Mark (Jason Bateman), is way too laid back and goes on and on over his old rock and roll band days, horror movies and trying to relate to a much too young Juno. Her father Mac MacGuff and second wife Bren support her decision with their equal senses of amazing humor and helpful cynicism - I wonder where Juno gets it from? - at every turn balanced with their obvious love of their daughter. Overall, this movie is crammed with a sarcastic rapport, and words you may think are very quick to catch. Mainly Juno's one-liners and quips are now classic for movie quoting that I hear everywhere and all of the time; from "pork swords" to "the stink eye" to "her house smells like soup", and the many other catch phrases which are also crammed into this super smart script... Bravo to a new type of full season come around in a circle - starting with Juno finding out her "eggo is preggo" in Autumn and going into all the other three. This is an informative and hilarious script that shows that the young people have brains and their vulnerabilities show at the same time. A film well worth your time for its obvious humor that runs over but also its underlying poignancy. There are some real heartfelt moments. I recommend this for the great dialog in the entire brilliant cast and for a fun watch.
This is a great film with characters that we totally invest our time and energy with, from J.K. Simmons as Juno's understanding yet firm dad, to Allison Janney as her no-nonsense stepmom, all the way to Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as the young yuppie couple who want to adopt Juno's baby but have some major issues of their own, to Michael Cera, great as the young, innocent soon to be dad. There is not a bad performance in the bunch, none whatsoever. I saw this film in a theatre and loved it simply because here was a story that didnt have car explosions, shootouts, nasty people screaming foul language at each other....just a nice, original human story with human characters that we all could relate to and sympathize with and who made us laugh, care and root for. Get It.
The plot may seem simple, but do not let it mislead you. Juno (played brilliantly by Ellen Page) is a sixteen year-old girl who gets pregnant with her boyfriend Paulie (played by Michael Cera) and decides to give it to a couple (Mark and Vanessa Loring, played by Jason Bateman and Jenifer Garner) looking for a baby to adopt. The film covers all Four Seasons, and Juno's entire pregnancy.
What makes Juno so different from all the other teen comedies is the combination of Diablo Cody's script and Ellen Page's exciting, energetic performance as the heroin. Most essentially though is the script with such sharp, clever, non-stop dialogue, that I found myself anticipating the lines whenever a character opened their mouth to speak.
As I mentioned Ellen Page's performance is what makes this film work so well, but she is greatly aided by one of the best supporting casts I have seen in a while. This includes: Jenifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, and Olivia Thirlby. Everyone one does so well together on screen and stays in their appropriate amount so the story is never overcrowded.
This is a sweet, funny, enjoyable film filled with a delightful humanity.