Directed by Jason Reitman (PG-13)
A teen’s first sexual experimentation leads to pregnancy and insight into adulthood.
Juno falls somewhere between a “life-should-be-so-neat fairy tale and a life’s-a-real-bitch tragicomedy,” said Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly. In their good-hearted morality tale about teen pregnancy, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody leave political debates behind. They instead exercise their “right to make jokes,” and thus have created a “blithe charmer” about a 16-year-old whose first sexual experience leads to the maternity ward. Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page), a smart-mouthed high schooler, and her best friend (the darling Michael Cera) experiment with unprotected sex and wind up with a baby whom they decide to put up for adoption. Juno takes an overused story line but “defies expectations at every turn,” said Kirk Honeycutt in The Hollywood Reporter. Cody has composed a script that “bristles with originality” and brutal honesty. Reitman, who wrote and directed the sharp Thank You for Smoking, instructs his actors to deliver their lines with the “rapid-fire precision of a ’30s screwball comedy.” Juno may be almost too clever for its adolescent audience, said Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. Cody dishes out nonstop helpings of hyperverbal banter, but she lets in all the awkwardness of young adulthood. Smart and refreshingly pungent, Juno is a “hip and hilarious antidote to High School Musical goo.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 10 things you need to know today: December 22, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
Subscribe to the Week