Dear Creator of the Universe, please don't let Juno become the next Garden State
Perhaps I was already preemptively in love with Juno because I was so smitten with Michael Cera and Kimya Dawson, but this movie is about to do for every awkward teenager everywhere the same thing that Garden State did for every jock kid who yearned to be indie but didn't quite get how to do it. I loved Garden State, and I love Juno, but my adoration for Kimya Dawson is way too great to want to see her become the subject of vacuous faux-indie kid conversations such as those that occur about the Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, etc. etc.
Now that I have that obligatory rant out of the way, the film itself. The trailers do not even begin to do it justice. First of all, as a devoted fan of the Moldy Peaches and Kimya Dawson, I was obviously ecstatic that so many of my favorite songs were included. Yes, they seemed a bit out of place at times, but it was like hearing them all anew, through several other people's ears. There is a scene in which Paulie and Juno do the Moldy Peaches' "Anyone Else but You." It is perfection, with all of its sweetness, so much so that I vote for Michael Cera and Ellen Page to become honorary members of the Moldy Peaches when they finally reunite. If nothing else, Juno is a totally magical musical experience for anyone who has listened to Kimya in the deepest moments of true love or heartbreak. I really wish the Moldy Peaches "Nothing Came Out" had been on the soundtrack, but hey, can't complain.
There really isn't a single unfunny moment. The whole movie was witty comment after witty comment, but not of the Gilmore Girls, vague-reference-to-pop-culture-variety. Every character, even the most seemingly unimportant, gets a ton of great lines, using terms like "vag" and "sea monkey" like total pros. Really, the only gripe I have is that there were too many funny lines in a row, to the extent that audience laughter tuned out good lines I knew were coming because I am such a dork that I watched every Youtube video relating to Juno in preparation for the movie. Mad props to Diablo Cody for producing such a complex, culturally rich script. Way to throw in a few things to appeal to the twenty-somethings, rather than the OC generation that I'm increasingly frustrated with (the Tino drumset reference was genius. yay late 90's teen tv).
Ellen Page was really remarkable. Someone compared her character to the ones Jenna Malone usually plays, but I really don't think that a character like Juno has ever existed before. She is too real, too witty, and tells it like it is. And that Paulie Bleeker. I know I have it pretty bad for Michael Cera, but he was really at his sweetest and most genuinely and subtly funny. I really wish there had been more from his character. He barely talked except when Juno was saying cute things to him that seriously made the whole audience squeal. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner had really well developed characters for the amount of screen exposure they got. The interactions between Page and Bateman especially showed Page's versatility as an actor, I think. While in other moments she believably seemed to be a high school junior, around him she was this cool, sophisticated, secure young woman with interesting things to say about music and movies.
If you have seen it, go see it again. If you haven't seen it, go see it. Twice. Maybe more.
A few songs that will hopefully entice you:
The Moldy Peaches: Anyone Else But You
Kimya Dawson: Tire Swing
Kimya Dawson: Loose Lips