Juno Offers Non-stops Laughs

(U-WIRE) CLEMSON, S.C. – “It all began with a chair” in the movie theater and me in it, wondering what in the world I was about to see. My friends picked the movie, “Juno.” The only thing I knew about it was a teenage girl becomes pregnant. By the time I left the theater I was humming the background music and wiping my eyes from laughing so hard. Oh yes, this is a good one.

From Jason Reitman, the director of “Thank You for Smoking,” and writer Diablo Cody comes the hilarious comedy about growing up, friendship, love and life in general. Do not be fooled, this is not your normal cheesy movie about life and love; it is so much better.

The movie begins with the title character, Juno, contemplating a chair that left its natural habitat for a lawn. The chair, it turns out, is where the whole movie starts when Juno spices up a boring afternoon by having sex with her friend, Paulie Bleeker. After being convinced by three pregnancy tests that she is with child, Juno, played by Ellen Paige, decides to give the baby up for adoption.

Enter Mark and Vanessa Loring, played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. They are a wealthy couple desperate to have a child of their own, and the perfect parents for Juno’s unexpected child. But as the due date approaches, Mark and Vanessa’s perfect relationship begins to show some stress fractures, and Juno struggles to deal with issues “way beyond her maturity level.”

The rest of the cast includes Michael Cera, also in “Superbad,” as the awkward but sweet Paulie Bleeker. J.K Simmons and Allison Janney play Juno’s father and stepmother who are blown away by Juno’s pregnancy, but support her throughout the entire experience. Olivia Thrilby plays Juno’s best friend, Leah, who makes a point to keep Juno down to earth by poking fun of her whenever possible but always being there like a real friend.

There is also the random appearance of Rainn Wilson, also in the TV show “The Office.” He has a very small role, but it provides many laughs nonetheless. Ellen Paige does an amazing job playing Juno. She embodies perfectly the teenager trying to keep calm and cool even though her world has been turned inside out. The entire cast deserves kudos and a thumbs up for their performances.

I would recommend “Juno” to anyone. It is an all around comedy that manages to capture the entire spectrum of human emotion. It has lots of humor, anger, sadness, confusion and warm fuzzy feelings. The humor is quick, sarcastic and witty. The dialogue is hilarious, even if unrealistic. The banter between the characters is a mix of slang I have never heard before thrown in with relatively intelligent conversation. The result is almost another language that describes everyday things in totally new ways and fits the characters perfectly.

Despite being a comedy, “Juno” touches on serious topics besides unexpected pregnancy, such as abortion and divorce. “Juno” is an exceptionally good movie that will have you laughing almost the entire time and in a good mood by the time you finish watching it.

“Juno” was nominated for three Golden Globes including “Best Motion Picture, “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture” and “Best Screenplay.” It has also been nominated for and has won many other awards, but I have a 600-word limit. So, when you have a chance, go see “Juno”; and let me know when you do because I want to see it again (hint hint to the boyfriend).

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