Thursday, May 22, 2008

Movie Review: Juno

I don't get it.... I kept hearing how sweet and great the movie Juno was, but then I also kept hearing, and from multiple sources, how it glorified unwed pregnancy and made it seem all nicey-nicey-happy-ending-la-la. So a while back Mama D mentioned somewhere how much she loved the movie, and that was the kicker for me. I just couldn't see Mama D glossing over a big glamorization of teen pregnancy, so I put it in my Netflix queue. A solid month later I finally watched it... having a hard time staying up after the kids go down lately, but Dadguy was out for the evening with the guys and their Magic cards, and even when I am bone tired fatigued I have a hard time sleeping when he's not home.

I was floored by this movie, it was so touching and honest and beautiful. Glorifying? If it glorified anything, it was touting teens giving up their babies for adoption. I believe the step mom character put it best when she said something along the lines of Juno putting her baby up for adoption was akin to making a miracle out of a garbage dump of a situation. Very inaccurate quote, but you get the picture. And the job that Jennifer Garner, as the adoptive mom to be, was genius. You think you are getting one kind of character, a super-controlling and tightly wound perfectionist... that you end up loving and rooting for. My sister put it best when she pointed out that this was a woman who felt that motherhood was her calling, and was physically denied her dream; she was just trying to stay afloat. Sometimes we, as women, think that if we could just be perfect enough, just keep everything just freaking perfectly right, that your dream of motherhood will come true. Sometimes when one of the most important thing in our lives is out of our control, we clamp down with a vengeance on what we can control. Knowing what I went through for the fifteen months or so that our fourth pregnancy was denied me? Well, I can only imagine what five years and a definite "never," would do to me.

Yeah. I think the problem that this movies detractors had, was that the main character, Juno, was unapologetic, relatively unashamed, and pulled the whole thing off with a good deal of personal style. She paid a steep price, but her life did go on. And I think that may have offended the snot out of some folks. Of course, some folks are looking to be offended, and would be unsatisfied with anything less than a groveling, shamefaced Juno whining and crying through the whole show. Plus, it was funny. How dare anyone find humor in this sort of a situation?

Personally, I would rather a girl watch a movie like this than listen to her fabulously idiotic girlfriends rave about how wonderful it is to be a cute little mommy of a cute little baby who loves them SO MUCH!

There is a bit of language, crude humor and such... but I give it solids all the way around!

7 comments:

elizasmom said...

I liked it too. Yes, it wasn't perfect — some bits were a little too flip — like the movie had taken her whole humor-as-defense thing a step too far — but mostly, I really liked it. Not least because this has been a bad season for seeing women and girls on film who were anything but simpering idiots and armcandy for the menfolk. I agree with your assessment of the mom (love Jennifer Garner) and I thought Juno's parents were both wonderful. Love both those actors in anything and their styles just worked REALLY well for those roles.

jenk said...

I want to see this movie so much! It's been advertised on Pay Per View for a while now and I keep meaning to order it. I just never get there. Maybe tonight...

Suburban Gorgon said...

OMG! I totally did not know you were blogging again! Yay!

annenahm said...

I haven't seen it yet, but after that review, I will. Thanks!

Mama D said...

Whew!! My heart was thumpity thumping as I read the first part of this post. I thought "Oh no! I recommended it and she HATED it!" (I'm such a loser.) Then when I saw that wasn't where you were going at all I just enjoyed your take on it.

The one thing I thought about after watching it was that they never explained how the pregnancy happened... I mean, I KNOW how, but like, if they'd even been careful or if the condom broke or if it was just a freak thing that just happened. In a way that was good because that would have been a whole lot more stuff to wade through and judge. But that was something that worried me, because I thought Juno was pretty cool and it bothered me if she was just plain irresponsible. Although, even if that was the case, as you said, she paid the price.

I also loved the part where her step mom reamed out the ultrasound tech.
"Well, I'm a nail technician." So funny.

Anyway, so glad (and relieved) that you liked it and can still feel that you trust me in regards to movies.

beth - total mom haircut said...

I'm watching this movie for the second time right now! Hubby is upstairs putting Robby back to sleep for like the illionth time. Anyway, I LOVE Jennifer Garner in this movie. I never noticed her in anything before, but this is such an excellent performance.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I have it on my queue too - haven't seen it yet. I think you are right -- some people have convictions about certain things, and how dare anyone disagree with them. Or find humour. The gall!