I love movies. Spending weekends in Raleigh without my family for the last few months afforded me the chance to actually see a few in the theater. (A rare occurrence in my life anymore. Sniff, sniff.) Really enjoyed “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” and “I Am Legend”.

But the movie I wholeheartedly recommend is…..


Juno!

A cursory look at the film info might not leave you too impressed- yet another movie for the mtv demographic; about teenage pregnancy; complete with required sexual innuendo, language and rebellion; featuring the acting talents of one “Teen Wolf Too” Jason Bateman– and it is easy to see why you’d take a pass on this one. Watch Juno for yourself and you’ll discover there’s a rich, satisfying film under the bright candy shell.

Here’s a short list of why I’m finding myself recommending director Jason Reitman’s latest effort:
– Juno is funny. I’ve seen it in the theater twice, and both times the crowd (me included) laughed out loud multiple times- starting with Rainn Wilson’s quip heavy cameo. (“Your eggo is preggo.”)
– But fairly mainstream. I’d describe Juno as a more accessible Napoleon Dynamite. If you wanted to find Napoleon as funny as your friends (or the teens you know) did, but just couldn’t- give Juno a chance. You won’t have to fake amusement to fit in.
– The acting is good all around. Every cast member is believable. No one texts it in. Yes, even Jason Bateman pulls his weight.
– Nice sounds. The soundtrack fits the film really well and is engaging. After my first viewing, I went home and bought a few of the songs that were stuck in my head. The second time I saw it, I heard people in the crowd singing along with a few key tracks. Keep in mind, these aren’t songs you’ve probably heard before. (“Anyone Else But You” by the Moldy Peaches is my current favorite.) You can hear full versions of the songs HERE.
– Strong messages. Although you can ingest Juno as merely satisfying entertainment, you can also digest slowly and savor some great conversations about any of the topics the film addresses. Juno opens the door for reflection and discussion on a slew of real life issues: teenage sexuality & pregnancy, abortion, infertility, consequences, disappointment, materialism, divorce, parenting, commitment, image management, judging others, being yourself, forgiveness, trust, real love, suburbia, etc. Without giving too much away, I’d encourage every parent or adult who works with kids to see this film. Aside from the cultural flavor, you’ll be exposed to some interesting perspectives.

If you’ve seen or go see Juno, let me know what you think.

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