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Juno

Director:  Jason Reitman
Year Released:  2007
Rating:  2.0

16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page) finds herself pregnant after the one time she has sex with her pseudo-boyfriend (Michael Cera) and just to prove she moves against the current of mainstream culture, she decides she's going to keep it and then give it up for adoption. It comes out all smarmy and sarcastic first - with crackling dialogue - until its Agenda finally comes through in one telling scene when Juno's at the mall with her friend and adoptive mother Jennifer Garner feels Juno's bloated womb (this is in the middle of the mall, mind you), and Juno doesn't deliver some wise-ass remark. That's approximately the 1 hour mark: thereafter it proceeds to spit on the Jason Bateman character (signifying 'men who won't commit') - he gets called 'old' and has no response, as if 35 is old in our youth-saturated America, and the movie pretends there's nothing monumentally creepy about the Garner character's turning motherhood into a fetish - and shift from comedy to something deadly serious (which comedies tend to do nowadays). The emotion thereafter is dictated by a heavy helping of indie staples (a lot off the Matador label), using Cat Power's cover of "Sea of Love" and the entire discography of Kimya Dawson (plus or minus Adam Green) to further accentuate the lead's 'outsider' status. In the beginning I was so hoping this would be some kind of oddball gem, like Napoleon Dynamite, but it comes up a major disappointment. For the record, I (a.) did not appreciate the intentionally suggestive looks Bateman's character gives Page (she doesn't quite pick them up), as if to say that not only is liking Sonic Youth and H.G. Lewis schlock as an adult is equivalent with being sexually regressive (it's a lame shot), (b.) I agree with Juno that Lewis is probably better than Argento (Lewis always knew he had no taste and ran with it) and (c.) Sonic Youth is not just noise, gimme a break.

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