Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket“Juno is Dynamite!”

_ Juno _ Title: Juno

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I am often asked what makes a movie great in my eyes. What do I personally enjoy watching as a regular movie goer. My answer is always the same. Enjoyable characters and creative dialogue. When I first saw the previews for Juno I was hooked. This was one film I was dead set on seeing, regardless of time and scheduling. And I must say I was not disappointed. From the music, to the directing to the look and style, Juno delivers a movie with heart. This flick takes a humorous look at a serious circumstance and creates a love story colored far outside the lines.

Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) finds herself pregnant at the age of 16 and is forced to make decisions and deal with issues that most adults struggle with. But she handles them with a depth and maturity far above her high school pay grade. Juno is a character unlike any female role I can recall ever seeing. Diablo Cody (writer) created a young girl who is quirky and loveable yet overlaid with rapid fire wit and sarcasm. Since it takes two to make a baby there had to be the male counterpart to Juno. Enter Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Cera is perfect as the puppy love interest. He is 90% nerd but in that cool, quiet, arty sort of way. There is gentleness about him that balances Juno’s, “say what you are thinking” lifestyle.

What I love most about this story is how Juno’s family reacts and deals with her situation. There is a tone of mercy and grace, with a banner of support above all else. This film could have gone many different directions. But it allowed the characters to be decent at their core and with their dealings with each other. Juno has tough decisions to make and she just wants to do the right thing. Cody’s script allowed her to do that. And that in itself makes this film endearing. It offers up the issues of marriage, adoption, abortion and love subtly. It makes its point with humor void of cynicism. Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman are the couple wanting to adopt a child and you get to see the struggle that process often is. Garner as always is adorable. Add great character actors like Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons as Juno’s parents and you have an unbeatable cast.

Juno is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language. Unlike most teenage movies there is not a hint of sex for shock or sophomoric humor. It is dealt with maturely and wonderfully. The language is mild though Juno has a descriptive way of referring to anatomy and the pregnancy as a whole. But it makes her character who she is. Those 15 and up will probably see this film 100 times so parents might as well go with them the first time or two. You will laugh out loud and it might even spark some dialogue between you and your kiddo. And can that ever be bad? I give Juno a solid 4 out of 5 tic-tacs. Jason Reitman has delivered another terrific film and to him I say thank you for directing! With a look at Juno, I’m Matt Mungle

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com)(12/14/07)

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and co-hosts a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

Review copyright 2007 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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