Juno: Movies for Mothers and Daughters

Juno

I watched this quirky movie years ago, shortly after it came out on DVD. My husband and I had been pleasantly surprised and I was looking forward to watching it again when my daughters were ready. That time arrived all too quickly. We were in the mood for a funny film a few days ago and so I thought of Juno.

Juno earned screenwriter Diablo Cody a well deserved Oscar for best original screenplay. The dialogue is whip smart and funny as all get out. The story is about Juno MacGuff (charmingly portrayed by Ellen Page), a non-conforming high-school student who finds herself pregnant after a one off with her best friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera in a signature role). How she navigates the next few months is fascinating, infuriating, touching and original. Despite the smarter than average dialogue, many scenes are so moving, simply by what is not said. The film is deftly handled by director Jason Reitman, with some great cinematic metaphorical images. The supporting cast is phenomenal, J.K. Simmons is a stand-out as Juno’s dad. What a range that man has! I am so used to seeing him as a heavy, I would never have imagined him as one of the coolest dads ever in the movies. Allison Janney  is also pretty amazing as Juno’s step-mom. Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman nail it as prospective adoptive parents. As an added bonus, there is a very sweet folksy soundtrack, by Kimya Dawson.

Teen pregnancy is a tough topic to contemplate, especially when one has 2 pre-teen daughters. To turn it into an entertaining romantic teen comedy is masterful. My daughters really enjoyed the film; both were laughing out load, repeatedly. I thought Juno was a great springboard for discussion and my daughters  thought so too. Some may argue that this movie is aimed at an older audience; I thought it was fine for my daughters. Let’s face it, when your 10 year old comes home telling you that she heard some kids in class talking about “going to a virtual strip club” while playing Grand Theft Auto, sheesh, this movie is a walk in the park.

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