So. I did it. I took the leap and saw “Juno.”
After my last experience with watching “Waitress,” I was very hesitant to see this movie. The thing is, other than the whole unwanted pregnancy (and the added domestic adoption piece to the film), I would have been jumping at the bit to see this movie. It just sounded so much like a movie that Hubby & I would enjoy immensely … especially after having read about the critical praise it’s been getting.
And after sitting through the film (and surviving with my emotions relatively intact), I have three words to say about it. I. Loved. It.
Sure there were moments where I bawled my eyes out like a baby. And there were times when I could feel Hubby squeezing my hand incredibly tight. And there were the moments when I caught Hubby giving me the good-old “sideways glance.” But in the grand scheme of things, the movie was just that. A movie.
To me there were two things that completely made the movie for me; the first of which was the writing. The story was just incredibly well-written – infused with the perfect balance of humor and emotion. The dialogue was smart and the story unfolded at the just the right pace. And the characters … ah, the characters! Each of them … well, except for one, in which I’ll go into more detail later … they were all well-developed with each role playing a specific purpose. (In my humble opinion, I just hate it when a character is introduced and then serves no value to the story, except maybe for eye candy.)
Now, I have to preface myself before I tell you about the second reason that I fell in love with this movie. In my mind, I find an actor is extremely talented when I lose myself in the actor’s character. For example, I love Johnny Depp. Not only do I think he’s incredibly sexy, but I respect his talent in acting. I was so excited to see him in “Sweeney Todd,” but knew that his character was not exactly “good-looking” like he was in, let’s say, “Finding Neverland.” Five minutes into the film, I lost track of the fact that “Sweeney Todd” was Johnny and was so immersed in the character. The same thing happened within the first minute of being introduced to “Juno.” Ellen Page, the actress who played Juno, was just simply astounding.
Juno is a very complex character. As Hubby put it, this was a girl who was young in her years but incredibly wise in knowing her limitations. She knew when she couldn’t handle things. She knew how to be brave when she needed to be. What sixteen year old would truly know what to do given the situations that Juno was put it? Even moreseo, what 20 year old (like Ellen Page) would? Ellen Page gave off just the right temperament for her character. And to me, she certainly is deserving of the Academy Award Nomination she’s just been given.
If there’s just one thing I would have changed in the movie, was the Vanessa Loring character, played by Jennifer Garner. She, for lack of better description, is the woman who wants to adopt Juno’s unborn baby. Throughout the movie, the character comes off as a person who is very cold. She desperately wants to have a child and is simply portrayed as having a “one-tracked” mind. There are however, two scenes in this movie that I can completely relate to Vanessa. I won’t spoil it for those of you that have yet to see the movie, but I do have to say that those two scenes were probably my most favorite of the film. Coincidentally, those were the same two scenes that I completely lost all sense of decorum.
Like I told my Hubby, I’m not sure if the reason I didn’t so much take to Jennifer Garner’s character was because I was being way too critical of her. I know what I would have done in certain circumstances and I know exactly what I would be feeling if I was in her shoes. But maybe that’s the reason why. I’m way too close to the subject matter in hand to look at it with unbiased opinion.
Hubby brought up the point that perhaps the way the character was portrayed by Jennifer Garner came more from the director’s vision of the film. That perhaps he (or she), like many others in this world, do not have a clue on the whole gamut of emotions an infertile goes through, and therefore the direction comes off as having the character played as cool, distant and controlling. (Which, of course, brought up another subject of how many other people in the world think that of us infertiles? Tyra Banks? Oprah Winfrey? The list could go on … but I digress.)
My only bone of contention is that I wish the movie delved deeper into the character of Vanessa Loring. I wish the film could have shown the rest of the world what it was like to want a child so badly. But in truth, this movie isn’t about infertility. And to me, this story isn’t even necessarily about teenage pregnancy.
This is a story of an incredibly wise, smart and quirky teen called Juno. And that’s what makes it a movie worth watching.
Okay, so now I’m off to download the soundtrack for the movie on iTunes …