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.”