We watched Juno this weekend, since our movie theatre finally got it, and then I read this op-ed about it, and it made me sad. But I still think it’s a good movie, even if the op-ed does make a very valid point.
For those of you who don’t know about Juno, it’s a movie about teen pregnancy, and being a teenager in general. Except that it’s witty, rather than sad, and it has a stellar cast. It was also written by Diablo Cody, who is a pretty interesting lady; last year I read her book about working as a stripper, and it was quite interesting and extremely funny.
Parts of the movie were almost too hipster to be borne, but that’s kind of the way with movies aimed at a youthful demographic these days, I sense. I mean, I liked Superbad even though it was also painfully hipster, so I can’t really bag on Juno for being that way. Juno herself was a solid, funny character who I think really was very believable. I don’t really want to go into too much detail about the movie, not that there’s a lot to give away, but movies are more fun when everything hasn’t been laid out for you. But I will say that there were a lot of excellent characters, and the film had interesting music and strong cinematography.
It was an interesting movie to watch because I don’t find teen pregnancy particularly funny, and I suspect that most people don’t, so it was sort of odd to view it in a humorous context. I also think that the movie glossed over the difficult parts, like being ostracized by your school district for being pregnant, and the immense emotional struggle involved in deciding to put a baby up for adoption. But then again, not every movie needs to be serious, and not every movie needs to have some deep moral lesson. Sometimes you just need to laugh.
Sometimes I find myself watching a movie and wondering about whether or not it’s going to become a classic which is watched for generations. This particular style of movie feels very dated to me. Not dated in a bad way, but it is done in a style which is very much cool right now, and I don’t know if it will endure for another decade. Maybe that’s what makes a classic; perhaps 50 years from now people will be watching films like Juno because they so perfectly encapsulate this time, just like we watch movies from the 1940s because we like the distinctly 1940s feel. Perhaps not.
If you’re not a twenty something or a teenager, you might not like Juno very much, because the film kind of feels like a gigantic inside joke. But maybe you will. Give it a shot and let me know, eh?