Juno (2007)

Jason Reitman directs Elliot Page, Michael Cera and Jennifer Garner in this teen comedy where a quirky teen navigates being pregnant and not wanting the baby.

Here is an unofficial, utterly unverified fact: I reckon Juno’s soundtrack was the last big selling CD of its type, the one you were never surprised to see in people’s music collection… now on a spinner in a charity shop near you. There’s something about this appealing package that really captured the zeitgeist at the time. The quirky rotoscoped credit sequence, the quirky mixtape of Cat Power, Mouldy Peaches and Belle & Sebastian, the quirky casting of breakout stars Page, Cera and Olivia Thirlby (all never better), the quirky approach to the big messy issue of teen pregnancy and abortion and class in America. Some of that hardwired quirkiness does date Juno massively. What felt exceptional back then got co-opted into the cultural click-and-drag files quickly, cliches of the last decade were born here. But that doesn’t diminish how confident Reitman’s direction is, how brilliant Allison Janney and J.K. Simmon’s are as Juno’s parents and how risky Diablo Cody’s script proved. Her dialogue is a little forced but her worldview is razor sharp. There’s a hardness at the centre of Juno that is surprising. It is tougher and more insightful than a quirky, colourful indie flick needs to be. Cody’s grit and honesty has stood the test of time even if other elements have not.


Perfect Double Bill: Tallulah (2016)

I write regular features about live comedy for British Comedy Guide here https://www.comedy.co.uk/people/bobby_carroll/features/


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