It's likely you're going to want to get out of the house this weekend and avoid Christmas shopping and the grim reality of the year flying by faster than paparazzi on their way to get shots of Britney's latest SUV exit. So do yourself a favor and go buy a ticket to see JUNO - yes you can believe the hype on this one. It's the NAPOLEON DYNAMITE/LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE indie hit of the year. So feel free to like it and join the "it" crowd, or dislike it and join the other portion of the "it" crowd who will no doubt be changing their mind once the majority of the public like the film too.
All the press on Diablo Cody, albeit well deserved and inherently interesting to cover, has, I believe, overshadowed the amazing actors performing her masterpiece. Jennifer Garner is one smart cookie and I hope to see her take on more roles that allow her to go from cute and silly romcoms to these more serious and strict, yet likable characters. Jason Bateman can do no wrong these days (let's ignore MAGORIUM for now), and his natural and seamless comedy chops are in full effect. Michael Cera is spot on as his usual awkward yet highly observant for his age self. Finally, Ellen Page, who will hopefully not have to audition and fight off hoards of teenage snarky competition to snatch her next role, was pitch perfect and held her own amongst the cast.
Although no one is a proponent of teenage pregnancy, it was refreshing to see one put on the screen that felt, ick, for lack of a better word, real. It addressed abortion without beating us over the head with the pro and con viewpoints which allows the audience to form their own opinions (gee go figure). The film allowed for a more adult conversation to be made about not only teenagers growing up too fast, but adults as well. Bateman's character is a kid in adult clothing who grew up too fast and resents every second of his "adult" life. However, again, we as the rather smart and attractive audience that we so much resemble, are allowed to agree or disagree with the characters actions without the smell of judgement filling the room.
It's great to see lower budget fare with strong source material doing so well in the marketplace. Let's hope this give studios breathing room to add a few more to the slate and a few less "four quadrant friendly" accountant developed fare in the years to come.