movie thoughts: Juno

I think, for me, this movie suffered from the over-hype that happens to so many independent movies nowadays.  I kept hearing so much about how good this movie was, how great Ellen Page was, how awesome the writing was blah blah blah.

I wanted to like this movie.  I sat down with every intention of liking it. 

But it didn’t really do anything for me.  I felt everyone’s acting, especially Page’s, was really stiff and forced (since I don’t think they knew what they were saying half the time).  I think I knew too many kids like that in high school, kids that liked the bands that no one had ever heard of, random flicks no one cared about, but then acted better than everyone because of it.  Wasn’t too fond of them.  And I almost feel like people (read: critics) felt obligated to say they liked this movie because to say that they didn’t would mean that they were not capable of enjoying an “unusually intelligent comedy” as the DVD case art clearly states.

I still adore Michael Cera.  When he was on screen, I was happy.  I mean, he was just being George Michael, but still.  Jason Bateman did a good job, but his character was a total ass.  Jennifer Gardner was also good but her character was sorta meh.  I liked Juno’s best friend (okay, I’m starting to realize how I don’t remember ANY of the character’s names…that can’t be a good sign)

Pretty much I didn’t like a lot of the characters.  After it won best screenplay, I was ready for some great story and witty dialogue, but I didn’t feel like it had anything highly quotable.  I never felt I go to know any of the characters.  It all felt like a Michael Crichton-style characterization (Juno: a girl with brown hair and a bit of a ‘tude.  Vanessa: long brown hair, adult, works, wants to be a mom…and so on).  I felt Juno’s learning experience came too late in the movie and there wasn’t enough build up for it, so I didn’t really care.  I wasn’t clear on her relationships with most of the characters, most importantly with the Jason Batemen and Jennifer Gardner’s characters, especially at the end. 

It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t like ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ where you know that, even though it was rough at times, you want to watch it again and again.  I probably won’t watch ‘Juno’ again.  There were no characters or moments to bring me back. 

I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had seen it before the hype…ah well, the world will never know.  I’m giving it a solid 2.5/3 outta 5.

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