When I first saw the trailer for Juno, I thought it looked like it would be really funny, and that the actress playing Juno was pretty amazing, but I was concerned that this would be a film that would make teen pregnancy look cool (a little sensitized to that because of my job). Reviewers I trust indicated that that wasn’t a problem, so, yesterday, I went to see it.
And I was left disappointed. It’s a pretty good film in many ways, but, yet there were problems with the story. The characters were good — the acting was well done — so I cared about pretty much everybody there. That’s a big thing for me. But, yet, there were scenes that just didn’t make sense to me.
Like when Juno and her step-mom get into a fight that seems just kinda thrown in because we just hadn’t had any conflict. Juno talks about how people are bad-mouthing her behind her back, but we never see any. And Juno gets into a fight with her baby-daddy for no apparent reason other than to explain why they aren’t together until later in the film.
And then there was the Whedon-esque dialog that nobody is really witty enough to come up with on their own, but it’s really fun to watch actors deliver.
And then there’s the ending that’s not really an ending, because they put a “back to normal” scene after the story’s really done.
And then there’s the intended-to-be-iconic note that Juno writes on a Jiffy-lube receipt without really explaining why it was on a Jiffy-lube receipt as opposed to part of a brown paper bag, a napkin, or whatever.
I like the film. I do. It handles very important themes about life and adolescence and sex and pregnancy and abortion and love and family and all, and it does so in a sensitive and smart way — which is pretty hard to find. There were moments that I loved, and they made me want to love the movie, but I just couldn’t. And so I was left disappointed.