I saw two movies recently - both struck me has having distinct similarities although they both are being sold at rather extreme ends of the Hollywood marketing gender continuum.
Superbad and Juno are both essentially comedies, although the latter has some bittersweet moments that can muddle its genre. Both are laser focussed on finding a fresh, unique voice and powering a film with it. And both take some big chances that make the end result very interesting. (Superbad has a risky Cops Gone Wild subplot and Juno inserts an awkward subplot around a teetering marriage - an unnecessary but admirable risk).
And yes, I incessantly chuckled through both - and enjoyed myself.
Both also have Michael Cera playing variations on the good-hearted, smart geek character that he seems to have cornered the market on. I'm still undecided about him - is he truly a talent or is he the second coming of Jason Biggs? Only time will tell.
In any case, I liked several things about Juno - in no particular order.
Diablo Cody - who won an Oscar for Original Screenplay - has a pretty neat story. But its the sharp zing she brings to her dialogs that make the movie fun to watch. It all begins with Rainn Wilson's poisonous darts in the first scene where Juno is taking her third pregnancy test of the day. And often it sounds precocious, precious or posturing, but its fresh enough that you strive to overlook the flaws.
Much has been said about Ellen Page's portroyal of Juno and how it has become a cultural touchstone for young girls. But I felt Cody didn't necessarily expound on the character of Juno much. She sort of just cuts the girl loose on us. And in retaining her mystery, she makes her someone you don't fully understand but wouldn't mind hanging out with in order to understand better.
I also dug the fact that we finally get to see a blue-collar family react to a family crisis with grace, love, care and support. Thanks, writer lady.