Last Updated: December 23, 2007By Tags:

(BY ALI NADERZAD) One of the good things about living in the 21st century is that we can confront most taboo issues, like teenage pregnancy, head on. At least that’s the bet director Jason Reitman took when he made the sweetly hilarious Juno, out in theatres now. What makes Juno an instant gem is its sense of humor: this serious but self-unaware movie recalls Judd Apatow and Steve Carrell. Michael Cera from Superbad, plays the unwitting father to Juno McGuff’s unborn child. Juno will likely win you over like it did me because it’s filled with the same silly but touching oblivion that seemed to permeate films like Clerks or, more recently, Napoleon Dynamite. All these were set in middle-of-nowhere american towns, with characters who are instantly recognizable to the point of being caricatural (for example, the extremely bitter, sarcastic store clerk) and protagonists who exist only within their own strange little worlds. It’s escapism-within-escapism genre and if the story has merit, it’s fun to watch. Juno McGuff (Ellen Page) is a young rock chick who chats boys into her burger phone with her girlfriend and tends to behave entirely out of impulsion. She has sex with her boyfriend Paulie Bleecker (yes, on impulse) and becomes pregnant. Since the film begins with her gestating, the story shows what decisions she will take, how she confesses to her parents and what shall happen of the small bundle of love. Juno is full of surprises and never lets up–there are no disappointing lulls or awkward turns in the screenplay. But obviously Juno is better than just some regular teenager who would bore us to tears with their mundane lives. Everything in Juno McGuff points towards some constant desire, no doubt fueled by her growing belly, to become an adult. Not unusual for a teenager, you say? Yes, but as you will hopefully discover yourself Page’s performance is rich in complexities and she’s able to show her character’s many imperfections convincingly. It’s always fascinating to see a young thespian carry herself so well on the big screen. SCREENCOMMENT.COM gives Juno 3 stars out of 4.

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