Juno's father (J.K. Simmons) and stepmother (Allison Janney) are thrown by the pregnancy but supportive of her decision to see it through to term. The perfect adoptive parents emerge in the form of Vanessa (
Everyone's just right in it: Page and Olivia Thirlby, who plays her teacher-idolizing pal, really do seem like best friends of equal smarts and empathy. Simmons and Janney are exactly who you need for these gently idealized parental units. Certain scenes seem calculated, such as a hospital visit designed to give Janney a chance to nail a judgmental staffer with zingers. But you don't hear Cody's punch lines coming a mile away; she's too interested in weird turns of phrase we catch on the fly ("Oh my blog!" instead of "Oh my God!").
If "Juno" becomes a popular success, and it should, it'll do so on the strength of all its actual merits, along with the messages people want to glean from it. Anti-abortion camps can champion Juno's decision not to have the procedure; pro-choice camps can enjoy the way Cody's protagonist runs her own show on her own terms. Can't a piece of entertainment settle for being "apolitical," as director Reitman has characterized "Juno"? Well, no, not with this subject matter. But there's no polemical impulse of any kind at work here. Even if you resist some of the easy-listening ditties on the soundtrack, or the made-for-TV animated opening credits, Page ensures that everything that's good and funny and fresh in the material comes through. If few 16-year-olds actually deal with first-time, whoopsie-daisy pregnancy with this much elan, well, that's what movies are for, even modest comedies--to show us the possible.
Get showtimes and movie details for "Juno."