About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

Rotten Tomatoes
Search Movie/Celeb

Advanced Search
  • Recent Comments

  • Categories

  • « | Home | »

    Review: The Hipster Movie of the Year: “Juno”

    By kyle | November 19, 2007


    [note: This is a rerun of my comments on “Juno” for new readers]:

    I don’t think any film this year left me as ambivalent as “Juno,” the kind of film that wins the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, the Academy’s annual nod to hip. Previous winners include “Pulp Fiction,” “The Usual Suspects” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” The winter’s no. 1 subject of party chatter will be: “Knocked Up” or “Juno”?

    “Juno” is frequently funny, often winsome and way offbeat. Being the hipster film of the year, though, presents a couple of problems. One is that hipsters are a pretty demanding group. Surely they’ll say that wearing an ironic retro T-shirt over a long-sleeved T-shirt is a tired look that’s been around for at least five years. 

    Another is that hipsters are kind of annoying, particularly over time; “Juno” seemed brilliant to me for its first ten minutes but at 90 minutes it amounts to the world’s longest Belle and Sebastian or Ben Folds song.

    Moreover, the hipster jive that dances across every page of this script (that word is more applicable than story)–about a supercool teen (Ellen Page) who discovers she’s pregnant and decides to have the baby but give it up for adoption–stumbles a lot too. Would a 16-year-old girl really drop references to “The Goonies” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”? I don’t know many 16-year-olds but I’m willing to bet Soupy Sales is not one of their cultural reference points. Screenwriter Diablo Cody is billed as 28 but her references–“boss,” “rad”–sound suspiciously 38-ish; her Juno is also curiously bereft of hip-hop and Web-based slang.

    That would matter less if the talk weren’t the movie; the thin characters around Juno essentially exist to either cluelessly absorb her barbs or fire back one-liners that sound exactly like hers. (Rainn Wilson’s store clerk: “Your eggo is preggo.” Another clerk, at an abortion clinic: “We need to know about every score and every sore.” Her dad says of the boy who knocked her up, “I’m gonna punch that Bleeker kid in the wiener;” her stepmom (Allison Janney) tells the woman who performs the ultrasound, “My five-year-old daughter could do that and she’s not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.”) And so on.

    There is so much one-linering going on that only one character forms, if that. Juno is a kid who handles the news that she’s pregnant with hipsterisms; breaks it to her parents with hipsterisms; describes her social ostracization with hipsterisms, hipsterizes on a trip to an abortion clinic, hipsterizes when picking out prospective adoptive parents (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as a couple of suburban yupsters). Pregnancy is a bit more fraught than this, and there is no 16-year-old of the past, present or future who is so supremely confident as Juno. She is as much a fantasy figure as Superman, only for sardonic girls instead of nerdy boys.  For every moment in “Knocked Up” that makes you think: that is exactly how people are, there is a corresponding one in “Juno” that makes you think the opposite.

    Nor does the film really develop relationships: Juno strikes up a strange flirtation with the Bateman character because it turns out they have the same taste in guitars, music and horror movies; meanwhile, she treats the father of her baby (Michael Cera) as an afterthought. Their scenes together are a hipsterism contest in which neither seems to care about much except getting a laugh. (She: “I got bored and had sex with you.” He: “I know you weren’t bored that day because there was a lot of good stuff on TV.”)

    As if to slap a bit of feeling onto Juno, the script gives her several crying scenes, but crying scenes don’t make you feel a movie any more than having a character laugh makes a movie funny. For the most part, Juno is cool with whatever happens to her. Why should we care if she doesn’t?

    Topics: Movies | 102 Comments »

    102 Responses to “Review: The Hipster Movie of the Year: “Juno””

    1. Christian Toto Says:
      November 20th, 2007 at 2:46 pm

      Darn you, Kyle. I thought I liked “Juno” until I read your blog posting. I still admire the movie, but your commentary made me consider the film in a less flattering light. (and did the hamburger phone drive you bonkers, too?)

    2. EB Says:
      November 20th, 2007 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you. I saw this with a crowd of Hipsters that loved it and I hated it literally from the opening frame. Yes, the opening shot with the ironic juxtaposition of a recliner in a yard while Juno casually drinks from a gallon jug made me hate it. And it only got worse.

      Juno seems to be completely unaffected by her pregnancy. Her parents are less upset than bemused. In fact, nobody that is presented as a decent human being seems to think this is much more consequential than a case of gas.

      As you said, why then would we give a damn when the always detached Juno suddenly gives a shit?

      I described it to friends as an achingly hip, detached sitcom without the laugh track. And a laugh track would have been an improvement.

    3. Toto Christian Says:
      November 20th, 2007 at 10:41 pm

      Isn’t hating on hipsters a paradox? One effectively succumbs to the trend of trend bashing. This is all the more apparent when you overcompensate in what could legitimately be an honest criticism by rating the film so low (everyone else loved it, so rather than saying “I didn’t love it” you say “I hated it”). Even considering the shortcomings, the virtues are numerous enough to yield a favorable rating (and by more than 2.5/4).

      While your observation that the characters all sound similar (in a comedy, isn’t that a more forgivable sin?), the delivery by the actors was spot-on.

      Perhaps you are a bit out of touch if you don’t recognize that kids reference material from beyond their immediate generational exposure. That Juno and friends quote the unremembered 80s is not artificial or far fetched, but simply an example of her idiosyncratic vernacular.

      The criticisms are legit…though the magnitude may be a little unjust.

    4. Jay Berg Says:
      November 21st, 2007 at 10:32 am

      I sincerely wanted to love this movie-I mean, as of this writing, it had gotten 14 out of 15 positive Rotten Tomatoes reviews. A writer to Roger Ebert answer man column even mentioned that it received a long standing ovation at the end at the Toronto Film Festival screening. So, Kyle, your review, so far, is the only negative review and, after screening it last night, I was curious as to what you had to say, because, I absolutely HATED THIS MOVIE-and for all the reasons you, Christian, and EB have expounded above. Your points are totally, excuse the archaic expression, right-on. And, to mention this film in the same breath as “Knocked-up” is ludicrous beyond words. Wow, I didn’t know that the subject of a 16 year old pregnant girl could be so light and frivolous. Besides that, nothing in this film is real or funny. I’ve never seen so many annoying characters in one film. I was literally cringing when it appeared that the 30ish Justin Bateman character was possibly making a play for for the very pregnant and very young Juno. Oh, and how about ditching Jennifer Garner to live out his dream of being a comic loving rock star? PULLEEESE!!! Also, another annoying aspect of this mess is the promotional tactic dreamed up by Fox Searchlight. In order to drum up support they are offering a contest to all who attended the screening by offering additional free screenings and the person who obtains the most “points” receives their own private screening with cast members and a free guitar. They even gave away free t-shirts to everyone (different collector t-shirts given away at each screening). I asked one of the helpers there why the promotion was so ambitious and I was told the studio wanted to create another “Napoleon Dynamite”. Good luck! That film at least made it on its own without the in-your-face promotion this one is attempting. I can’t imagine sitting through this one again. I want those 96 minutes back!!!e

    5. Reeeechard Says:
      November 29th, 2007 at 11:14 am

      Excellent review, and I love the Amis quote. (Here’s a better one: “I’m Kingsley Amis, you see, and I can drink whenever I want.”) What drugs did they give that Toronto Film Fest audience and where can I get them? Juno was so relentlessly quippy I could hardly endure it. And did I miss this point, except that the moral of the story is that it is the duty of today’s youth to baby-farm for their elders? My word, how completely radical and in your face.

    6. caveratfilmboy Says:
      November 29th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

      I often read your reviews not because I will agree, but because I will often disagree, especially on the politics you seem to constantly cloud with your take. I do so however, because I enjoy seeing both sides, hearing views that differ from my own, and to call into question my own thoughts, which are by no means absolute or always right. Normally I choose to simply disagree and sometimes find something I had not thought of that makes me reconsider. I have never felt the need to respond to anything, until now.

      I must say that I expect you to push a conservative view and berate most films dealing with politics and current issues. You often place no focus on the merits of the film as a film, but choose to redirect your reviews to the issues and themes entirely. That’s fine. I understand and you are very focused on such politics as a personal choice. I respect that even in my disagreement. However, here, you have not reviewed the film at all. Instead you have reviewed it’s target audience and given them a failing grade. Why? Hipsters have nothing to do with this film as a piece of work. They are certainly a large target on the audience factor. It does use hipster type personalities as a basis for the creation of their characters. But is that anymore of a flaw than gangster films focusing on gangsters or westerns focusing on outlaws? I don’t particularly like thugs, but I would never write off a film like Menace to Society, Hustle and Flow, or Boys in the Hood as terrible based on the subject matter and characters. After all, films should be made for all types of people.

      Now I share a distinct dislike for most hipsterisms. While I enjoy some aspects of their culture, I would certainly say I dislike the overbearing need to be cool they present and that their focus is often based more heavily on image than substance despite all of their dribble. But that says little of this film, which takes a surprisingly unhipster outlook dispite it’s musical choices, characters, and stylings. Much of hipster culture tends to be very nilihstic, unfocused and centered on cool. Juno may begin that way, but by the end of the film we find a girl who still loves all the music, movies, lifestyle, etc, she once did, but has grown to respect herself, her family, and the responcibilities of her life. Yes Juno maintains a dry sensibility about her personality throughout the film, but her choices to now have an abortion, to give her child up to a family in need, and when watching that family dissolve, and still having the courage to have faith in the people involved, are sublte and potent (at least for many of us) examples of a girl less Nihilistic and growing ever more mature. After all, she may not care about being a mother, but she pretty clearly states her desire to see the child in a good home, which blatantly states she does in fact care. I guess you missed that. But here I begin to argue the merits of the characters and story. Instead I want to recenter onto the film itself.

      You comment on Knocked Up as an example where the characters remind you of people, and that Juno has a moment for all of those moments that does not. Well, you are correct. But you’ve missed the point of the film. It’s not centered on real life, rather a not so perfect fairy tale. One that blisters with a positive nature that so many films today often lack. It’s a bit of escapist fun. Do these people really exist in real life? Probably not, but I can say that their compassion and growth is of the type I would like to find more of in our world. And if it creates those ideals while catering to a generation of overly hip pop culture addicts, so be it. After all, I’m sure that you and I both could agree if one generation needs a little less nihilism and a little more heart, it is certainly hipsters.

      To the notion that teen pregnancy should not be such a light hearted subject matter, Jay Berg, why not step back and look at some of the John Hughes comedies of the eighties, or maybe The Coens shouldn’t have created a comedy about stealing babies. That’s not suppose to be funny at all. And maybe Kubrick should have steered clear of a comedy dealing with nuclear war. That’s certainly not a light hearted subject matter. And certainly Monty Python should have never stepped into the Territory of religion. After all, what’s funny about the life of Jesus.

      Mostly, I would just like to point out that while you berate the targeted audience of a film, you miss the film itself.

    7. LD Says:
      November 30th, 2007 at 10:26 pm

      I completely agree with your comments on Juno. However, I totally disagree with putting “Knocked Up” on a pedestal. I was expecting way more from Judd Apatow and gang than a regurgitated unwed-woman-gets-pregnant-baby-daddy-freaks-out-hilarious-antics-ensue story wrapped up with a trite little bow of a conclusion. The one saving grace in “Knocked Up” would be the brilliance of one Doctor Ken Jeong–otherwise, let’s not kid ourselves, both films belong in the same mediocre league where comical one-liners and sassy banter outweigh plot and character development.

    8. Anders Says:
      November 30th, 2007 at 11:57 pm

      I think that you willingly misread the characters of this movie just to hipster-bash, which is fun, but ever so hypocritical like Christian Toto said before. For me, Juno was a mega-geek as opposed to a hipster and so is Paulie Bleeker. The funny part is that the hipster watches this movie and sees him or herself in the characters in all their ridiculousness. It is a nostalgia piece for hipsters. Perhaps you saw something too similar to how you were and reacted defensively to it rather than just laughing.

      I agree with your comments on the slang and, while it was funny, the Rainn Wilson scene went too far with the one-liners. All other cultural transgressions seemed acceptable to me because they were just really funny.

      I also don’t think that Juno was cavalier about her situation. Don’t forget the scene in the abortion clinic. And don’t expect the character to turn towards the camera and give a thorough description of their feelings so far. I think that Juno instead exhibited strength and practicality for a girl in her circumstances.

      For whoever’s interested, I also wrote a review about this movie that can be accessed by clicking on my name above.

    9. D.Wityk Says:
      December 5th, 2007 at 2:23 pm

      It’s too bad references to ironic t-shirts, Belle & Sebastian, and Ben Folds are so far beyond an accurate depiction of the type of hipsterisms that are ascribed to the audience in the review.

      The problem I have with using these terms is that they are used defensively, as if your indifference to the film’s quirkiness implies some kind of necessary exclusion from enjoying the movie itself. When, none of the film’s references are at all judgmental or pretentious; they are completely innocent. Nothing in the film’s tone suggests that if you don’t get it, you don’t belong. This review lends just as much to the stereotype for not liking it as the “hipsters” who will like it for those very same reasons.

      In the end, it’s all the same.

    10. david todd Says:
      December 7th, 2007 at 3:41 am


      Do you truly dislike this film as much as you convey in your review?

      I feel maybe you are trying to be the “hipster” by dismissing the film as you do. “Wow Kyle really goes against the grain. He is so hip.”

      I am willing to bet you hated “Little Miss Sunshine”?

      Perhaps your a bitter ex-screenwriter?

      Do me a favor and watch this film again. You don’t even touch on the wonderful performances across the board.
      Jennifer Garner is a revelation.

      Anywho I enjoy reading your reviews

      Take care,
      David Todd III, Los Angeles CA

    11. Brendan Says:
      December 7th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

      If I read the word “hip” anymore times on this page, I’m going to puke. These types of movies drive me nuts. Little Miss Sunshine, while certainly entertaining enough to spend a couple hours on, was waaaaaay over-praised. These movies are becoming as formulaic as any action flick. That young people think that making a laundry list of pop culture stuff that they like substitutes for a personality is just depressing to me.

    12. Jen Says:
      December 10th, 2007 at 4:57 am

      I Agree with much of caveratfilmboy’s comments.However, I think we are overlooking a simple fact here.Kyle is not only very conservative, but it is very likely that he feels very threatened; like most conservatives with a feminist view.
      When I spoke out a month ago, he threatened to boot me off the blog.

      I really think for him it’s not just a hipster thing, but feeling really threatened by a liberal feminist perspective.

      Oh, sorry Kyle, I hope I am not boring you.

    13. Ex-Stripper Diablo Cody Bares All for Entertainment Weekly | Says:
      December 17th, 2007 at 6:31 pm

      […] a peek at the musings of someone who is both a rising star and an unabashed pop culture fan, and as I’ve said before Cody is likely to win the Oscar for best original screenplay for […]

    14. Kane Says:
      December 18th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

      I 100% agree with your review on this movie; I have no idea how it’s getting so much praise and attention. The movie felt forced and tried way too hard to be hip and quirky, it was so incredibly obnoxious. The movie is mediocre at best, hipster regardless. The day this movie wins any awards is a sad day indeed.

    15. Hdj Says:
      December 18th, 2007 at 11:51 pm

      what the hell is the matter with everyone here. I think what we have here is a bunch of hate monging Nazi’s that lost their hearts along time ago.
      Movies like this and little miss sunshine need to be made whither you like it or not. Don’t like it, kill your selfs, simple as that.

    16. dave Says:
      December 26th, 2007 at 12:05 am

      No seems to find the movie as depressing as I did. I mean, the two kids end up in love with each other, and they give up the baby anyway. I wanted a happier ending. I liked the movie but Juno was the only character that really developed at all. Cera for instance stayed basically oblivious while his best friend carried his son; Kind of unrealistic, even for a 16 year old I think, especially in a hipster movie like this.

    17. Tim G Says:
      December 29th, 2007 at 7:30 pm

      I just saw “Juno” last evening. I’m 39 and was surrounded by youngsters (young girls, mostly). A lot of the “hip” dialogue went right over my head, plus the characters talked way too fast. People don’t really talk this way, I kept thinking to myself. I do know who Soupy Sales is though (but doubt a 16-year-old girl would). “Juno” was not a tremendous achievement, just a mildly amusing little picture. I had a few laughs over the course of 90 minutes. When I left the theater, one girl said to another, “That wasn’t that great.”

    18. gOO Says:
      December 31st, 2007 at 3:00 pm

      How can we argue psuedo intellectualism with bloggers like Christian Toto and caveratfilmboy? Please, read the latter’s oh so brilliant rant and tell me he isn’t full of himself. ‘Kyle’ didn’t like the movie because he felt that it tried too hard to be smart and forgot that it needed a heart. To pull that off, one mustn’t be fake.

      Besides, nobody really speaks like the characters in this movie. This type of dialogue only exists in scripts where characters get their wit by screenwriters who took a whole lot of time to measure their words.

    19. gOO Says:
      December 31st, 2007 at 3:07 pm

      Oh and Jen, you probably are boring Kyle.

    20. TheZeroYear Says:
      January 2nd, 2008 at 2:58 am

      i didn’t know someone could use the word “hipster” so many times in one movie review.

      Why don’t you try to analyze and review the movie ‘yourself’ instead of criticizing how the youth generation might see it.

      oh yeah, and knocked up doesn’t even compare to Juno… however i did think it was a pretty funny movie.

    21. The Wench Says:
      January 4th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

      I, too, suspect that Ms. Cody is older than she leads us to believe. Another reference that did not work: Jason Bateman’s character looked roughly 40-ish, yet remembered “All the Young Dudes” playing at his prom. I’m about the same age as Mr. Bateman, my prom was in the late eighties, and all I can remember is Chris De Burgh’s tortuous “Lady in Red.” Certainly no Mott the Hoople.

    22. Tristan Says:
      January 4th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

      I enjoyed reading your review and reading another viewpoint from myself. As a 16-year-old girl myself, I found the movie absolutely hilarious and brilliant. I think your views on the writer and the character Juno not acting their ages is totally wrong. Juno isn’t a “supercool teenager,” but an offbeat teenager who doesn’t roll with the average flow. And the references to webchat, “hipster,” and older phrases in the movie were COMPLETELY refreshing to me. I think the wit and humor in this movie was brilliantly and creatively written, and I honestly have only good things to say about the movie.

      But, I can say I believe this part of Juno was written for the actress, Ellen Page. I saw her being interviewed last night on David Letterman, and her humor is just like her character’s…therefore I don’t think she really deserves a nomination for best actress, but I do applaud the movie.

    23. Michael Says:
      January 12th, 2008 at 12:58 am

      I find it funny that people are obviously taking Kyle’s words out of context. Kyle emphasized the “hipsterism” of this movie not because he so passionately hates hipsters, but because the movie never really moves past the depth of “hipsterism”. In other words, the plot and development take a back seat to its unabashed advertisement of hipsterism. None of the characters are truly different. Each one is essentially the same character with a different name and a different role.

      Judging by the personality of Cody Diablo, most of her writing will mostly follow the same formula. She cannot succeed this way. She is basically exploiting the quirkiness that individuals develop within their personality and marketing it as art. If she keeps this up, I suspect she will see a backlash. While she is a darling to the critics now, wait until they become bored with her. No one wants their individuality taken away.

    24. Snarky Bastards » Blog Archive » Some Contrarian takes on Juno Says:
      January 14th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

      […] was bugging me about it.  Fortunately, I find people who are more perceptive than I am online.  Kyle Smith hits Juno as a movie reviewer: Juno is a kid who handles the news that she’s pregnant with […]

    25. hipsters-du-jour Says:
      January 18th, 2008 at 12:11 am

      Does not bring enough money to get that condo in Williamsburg you so clearly crave?

      Is that where the hate comes from? What does “hipsterize” even mean??

    26. Melody Says:
      January 21st, 2008 at 2:31 am

      For the fear of being attacked by other loyal ‘Juno’ fans, I’ll just say that you’re on-point, Kyle.

    27. Gio Says:
      January 23rd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

      I hate the word hipster. I just feel like its hip to use the word hipster. I don’t really use the internet to socialize, but I cant help to notice that this word is everywhere.

      Besides that you abused the word ” hip ” a little to much in your review, it did make me think twice about the movie. I’ll watch it again to be safe, but I believe you should do the same. I feel like you saw the film and within the first 15 minutes you decided you would hate it from here on up. Perhaps you were to busy trying to pick up what you disliked.

      I’m not a Juno Nazi, and I enjoy your writing. Still believe you should watch it again.

    28. JunoonuJ Says:
      January 23rd, 2008 at 3:55 pm

      There was a time when self-consciously hip indie-quirk was unique and refreshing. Rushmore, for example…

      …which was released in 1998. 1998! All due respect: Wes Anderson helped pioneer a format that, 10 years ago, was unique, refreshing, and responsible for some fantastic art, music, and literature.

      Now, in 2008 — 10 YEARS LATER! — that format has been institutionalized for the mass-market.

      Little 14 year-old kids are buying checkered Vans and skinny-fit tapered levis, wearing Stooges t-shirts one day and Vote for Pedro t-shirts the next, and listening to Mouldy Peaches on their iPod mini nuzzled in it’s cute little rainbow-knit iPod sock.

      Indie/hipster (or whatever the hell you want to call it) just doesn’t seem real anymore.

      I didn’t like Juno. In fact, I couldn’t stand it. None of it. I didn’t believe Juno’s taste, I didn’t believe her wit, I didn’t believe her vocabulary, I didn’t believe her parents. I felt like the entire movie, dialog ESPECIALLY, was the ambitious product of a starry-eyed but artistically-underdeveloped Urban Outfitters copywriter.

      I’ll never forget it though — in my mind, Juno will always be the movie that heralded the end of self-consciously hip indie-quirk.

      And thank God for that! The minute art of any kind gets marketed and monetized to this extent, it loses it’s rebelliousness, it’s emotional substance, and ultimately, it’s cultural relevance.

      I’m not a cold-hearted person, but I honestly couldn’t even begin to care about the ‘sensitive’ moments in the movie. Juno’s attitude-veneered heartstring-tugging simply didn’t have the context, passion, or immediacy to make it resonate in any sort of valuable emotional way.

      It’s Dawson’s Creek for the hipster kids, That 70’s Show for the aging black-rimmed glasses-wearing Yupster, a pathetic attempt at relating to youth culture for the Roger Eberts and industry suits, and an cute little fantasy for all those wussy Bleeker types (young and old) out there.

      If Ellen Paige gets an Oscar, or even an Oscar nod, I’ll consider my point proven.

    29. Aimee Says:
      January 25th, 2008 at 8:24 pm

      AMEN. Most overrated pile of stupid trendy hipster crap I’ve ever seen. Maybe had it not been hyped, I would have thought it was mediocre, but cutesy. The fact that this is up for so many Oscars – Best Picture even! – makes me want to scream. I agree with EVERY part of your review! From the second that Page chugged the Sunny D making the “most magnificent discarded piece of furniture” line that made the entire theatre other than me burst out in laughter, to the one liners piled up on each other in that unfunny Rainn Wilson scene I knew I’d hate this movie. Not realistic, not interesting, not witty. Nothing but trendy, in love with itself, unlikeable and unrealistic character filled garbage.

    30. Albert Hahn Says:
      January 25th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

      Excellent comments, especially the two
      by Christian Toto. I liked the movie,
      maybe because I don’t know what a hipster is. I didn’t get a lot of the young people’s argot, but till recently I thought ‘doing the nasty’ meant taking a dump. Kyle, you need an
      primer on crying scenes.
      They are like hearsay in court.
      They are acceptable just to let
      us know that the character cried,
      not to let us know that the scene is sad. The hospital crying scene was
      absolutely justifiable, to let
      us know it hurt to lose her baby.
      I can’t remember the other crying scene
      to which you referred.
      I despised one scene, when stepmom was
      taking a huge cheap shot at the
      ultrasound technician. Horrible.

    31. Fiveboy Says:
      January 27th, 2008 at 1:48 am

      To those who say Kyle is threatened by Juno’s liberal feminism, you seriously lack insight. The reason this movie is the darling of middle America, and has become such an obnoxious mainstream success story, is precisely due to its somewhat conservative message. She chooses adoption over abortion, and isn’t that what the right pushes for when abstinence only sex education inevitably fails?

      By the way, I didn’t really hate the movie at first, but was completely ambivalent towards it, and baffled by the many gushing reviews. Now, I’m starting to despise it, mainly because of how many times people have excitedly asked me “Have you seen Juno yet?!?!?” expecting me to join in the collective cultural orgasm. I am so thankful for the handful of negative reviews, and agree with everything in this one.

    32. Ron Cooney Says:
      January 29th, 2008 at 2:07 am


      A perceptive and correct assessment of
      a very phony and grating film and a bracing tonic to all of the accolades it
      has received: the most over-rated movie
      since “Lost In Translation.” Some of
      the most artificial, arch, and absurd
      dialogue ever written and spoken on-
      screen. We’re supposed to like this
      little creep? I kept hoping someone would strangle her. And those songs!

    33. Hellboy Says:
      January 29th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

      A hamburger phone and cache of apathetic comebacks does not make you edgy. It wasnt horrible and I did laugh a couple of times but I could say that about Rocky Balboa. Juno tried to be every Indie movie that Diablo Cody ever netflixed. Bleeker was a Dawson’s Creek version of Napoleon Dynamite. They only played the Kinks becasue they were trying to be Wes Anderson. A year from now no one will be talking about this movie. Now go rent Welcome to the Dollhouse.

    34. Laura Says:
      January 31st, 2008 at 3:49 pm

      I was sixteen three years ago and I definitely knew all about “The Goonies” and ”20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” Other than that, however, I feel like this review was spot-on. The first fifteen minutes of the movie was so ridiculously bogged down with clever comebacks (“Fertile Myrtle” and “homeskillet” had me cringing) I was unable to actually focus for the rest of the movie because I was paranoid about hearing yet another awkward pop-culture reference.

    35. “Ovulating Like a Chicken,” or A Study in Why I’m the Social Misfit « Hoyden Says:
      February 5th, 2008 at 1:47 am

      […] prospective adoptive parents (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as a couple of suburban yupsters). Pregnancy is a bit more fraught than this, and there is no 16-year-old of the past, present or futur…. She is as much a fantasy figure as Superman, only for sardonic girls instead of nerdy […]

    36. Chris Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 4:20 pm

      I liked the film despite its flaws. The comments here are of more interest to me. I particularly love how Jen went to the conservative afraid of the liberal feminist perspective. That was funny. Womyn like Jen don’t get conservatives. We’re not afraid of your perspective honey, we oppose it. Quite a simple concept really. In the case of the film, I did not find it exceptionally polemic. In fact, when she did not choose the abortion, I would have thought the film would have lost your sort. I guess since it was her choice and all, it was ok for you.

      Overall, the movie was worth seeing and Jen’s comment even more so, though for different reasons.

    37. peterkickit Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

      I enjoyed the clever use of language for about 1 minute, then that got tedious and repetitive so I had to resort to watching the plot. Which is sorely lacking. SPOILER ALERT! For nearly the entire movie, the Jennifer Garner character is an OCD ballbuster who obsesses about choosing between two identical shades of yellow for baby room paint, and allows her husband limited space in the house for “his things”. But when he turns out to be just as shallow and ungrounded as she is, suddenly she seems to be the perfect mom and Juno can see exactly what she needs to do. Stupid ending to a wearisome movie. Thank god that it will kill the genre. (DISCLAIMER: I’m from Minnesota, where our native daughter Diablo Cody is now considered a creative genius.)

    38. greg Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

      knocked up – realistic? gimme a break. who can believe hot-as-hell katheryn heigel goes for seth rogin? sorry, but if juno is a hipster fantasy world, knocked up is fantasy for wishful thinking young men

    39. Dan Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

      The hipster dialogue is effectively no different than the Charles MacArthur witty banter in “His Girl Friday”. No one speaks like that either, does that make it a terrible film? Treat Juno for what it is, nice with a few laughs and alot of heart. The latter is something most current films don’t have, and I suspect why it is popular.

    40. Sean Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

      “Hey, I wanna let you know that upon reading your review of Juno, I have decided to not like it too!”

      What a bunch of sycophantic bullshit. If the left-blog-world is guilty of moral relitivism, selective history and psychobabble, then the right-blog-world is guilty of idolatry, hero worship and bandwagenism. This is no less than the twentieth conservative Juno bash session that I have seen. “Reynolds didn’t like it, so I don’t either” seems to be the way. Sad and boring. Juno was great. Put a lighter face on a very human tragedy. Are we really asking our entertainment to be realistic?

    41. JohnnyL Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

      I’m 54 and wouldn’t recognize hip, hipster, hipsterism or anything else starting with those 3 letter but I did enjoy Juno. I saw all of the teen characters as fairly smart, geeky, slightly different than normal kids. As far as the dialogue not sounding real….do you really want to sit for 90 minutes listening to dialogue that actually sounds like it was spoken by the average teenager? I’ve spent quite a bit of time listening in on the conversations of my teenage son and his bright and quirky friends and I’m constantly amazed at some of the references to old cutural touchpoints that they come up with, so I thought the dialogue in Juno was similar to what I’ve heard from them.
      As for ‘Knocked Up”, I laughed but didn’t recognize anyone from real life in this movie and wouldn’t want to be around any of them anyway if I did.

    42. david still Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

      How right you are Sean!
      golly. imagine if she had an abortion!!!
      awake,slugs of the right…time marches on and the next election will make you totally obsolete…you may not like what you see about you but is what you have wrought better?

    43. OldBob Says:
      February 7th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

      The movie is about a girl who thinks whe’s cool, but isn’t and everyone knows it. She got herself pregnant because she wanted to see what sex was all about. Her ‘boyfriend’ was just the convenient partner … she really was bored that day.

      It’s easy to lambaste Garner, but she knew her husband was a scumbag so tried to keep him from Juno. This only became obvious when he made his hitting on Juno obvious.

      The dialog is close to what one would hear from a bunch of teens … hang with them some time and listen.

      Not a great movie, but a good one. BTW, Ellen really speaks that way (or nearly so)

    44. Seixon Says:
      February 8th, 2008 at 7:24 am

      I think the whole point with Juno is that she’s a completely abnormal teen. She has a weird taste in music, movies, and even boys. The movie was enjoyable because she was so odd for a girl her age. She’s not really the stereotypical sort of teenage girl who gets pregnant these days, either.

      As for her supposed abnormal “self confidence”, I think by the end of the movie you discover that all her “hipsterism” is a result of exactly the opposite – low self esteem. She tries to play everything off like it ain’t no thang, precisely because it does bother her and she is camouflaging it.

      I also imagine that the blog author doesn’t hang around teens much…

    45. Jeff Says:
      February 8th, 2008 at 11:14 am

      Say what you will, I liked Juno. I liked Knocked Up, too. I even like some movies where no one is pregnant.
      Some movies, I do not like.
      Some movies, I am indifferent about.
      Some movies, I will never watch, so I’ll really never know if I like them or not. That’s a risk I’m prepared to take. For instance, I have made it a life goal to never watch ‘Titanic’ or ‘Gone With the Wind’. So far, so good.
      It is a crazy cinematic world.

    46. OldBob Says:
      February 8th, 2008 at 12:37 pm


      You hit the nail on the head. She’s extremely insecure and works hard to cover it up.

    47. More “Juno” Non-Love | Says:
      February 9th, 2008 at 7:02 pm

      […] The writer calling herself Neo-Neocon has an amusing review of “Juno.” Like me, she finds the movie painfully smug and hipper-than-thou. (My review is here.) […]

    48. Huey Lewis Says:
      February 22nd, 2008 at 5:44 pm

      Kyle, I’m hip to what you are sayin’

    49. Marcus Says:
      February 23rd, 2008 at 10:47 am

      Even worse than the film’s two-dimensionality, and its suggestion that teenage girls can (and ought to) give away their babies to rich yuppies without a single backwards glance, are the missing lines of dialogue I spent the entire movie waiting for. Since when did it become acceptable for fathers of babies to be so totally ignored and their wishes never even elicited? Why did no one ask the father what he wanted? How he felt? “I love you” the pregnant Juno tells her boyfriend. And then she gives his child away to people he’s never met, without once asking him about this.

      How did it become acceptable in this culture for this to happen? The grandparents look on with the same amount of concern as if she was giving away a kitten, and the father himself is so effectively sidelined as to not exist. Where I would have hoped and expected to see an on-screen depiction of the father’s agony at the theft of his child, all we see is him playing the bloody guitar on his front-step like nothing happened. A truly despicable film.

    50. Juno Wins Best Screenplay | Says:
      February 25th, 2008 at 1:09 am

      […] SELF-PLUG My review of “Juno” is still around. Won’t you please be the 50th person to comment on it? I […]

    51. Karol Says:
      February 25th, 2008 at 4:17 am

      I’m commenting to be your 50th commenter. Unfortunately, your trackback actually counts as 50. Woooo hooo 51!

    52. Dave Says:
      February 26th, 2008 at 1:22 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more about the hipster-ness of Juno. It was so annoying and grating that I never really got to finish it.

      At one point, you have to realize that with all that hipstering going on there is no human face whatsoever. It’s just as bad as any commercial bullsh**t movie out there.

      Even the makers of Juno were hoping it would be a hit, spiritual-sequel to “Napoleon Dynamite.” How base, capitalist and soul-less do you have to be in order to make money these days?

      The movie was s**t, hipster garbage.

    53. Ant Says:
      March 24th, 2008 at 12:38 am

      It was cheesy cringe fest like most chick flicks. Have you noticed that its mostly us guys who take offense at the callous nature of Juno and the way she quips her way into and out of pregnancy. I think this was the director and scriptwriter’s fault rather than the actors, who did well.

    54. jackie bee Says:
      May 10th, 2008 at 11:45 pm

      As the mommy of an adopted daughter, I thought I would like this movie. Wrong! Too much slick talking and super cool offbeatness led me to think they were of a different universe. A universe where being pregnant at 16 is no big deal. A universe where the boy doesn’t have any culpability before, during, or after the encounter. A universe where parents are glib about the fact their teenage daughter is pregnant. What a shame that this movie attempted to be filled with quirky one-liners instead of a poignant message.

    55. John Says:
      June 15th, 2008 at 1:33 am

      I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “hipster”. I don’t even know if I have any “hipster” friends. Heck, I could be a “hipster” and not even know!

      I don’t care about hipsters, whether they exist or not. Your odd obsession with this, IMHO, mythical group seems to have clouded your judgement in movies. This matches all the other critical reviews I’ve read for Juno: the critic seems painfully aware of this hipster thing, and are determined to be too hip to fall for it!

      It was a good movie, funny, with endearing characters and some reasonable amount of poignancy. Hipsters be damned.

    56. Dude Says:
      July 3rd, 2008 at 3:38 am

      This review was dead on. The movie was vacuous. The characters were inhuman. About the only positive I saw was it was a pretty location, and I somewhat enjoyed the use of music.

    57. Sick of Juno Says:
      July 10th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

      I completely agree with Kyle’s review of Juno. Hipsters are very annoying… especially the Juno character, she was difficult to endure.

      More so, Juno got raves for having such a super script; however, the script seemed very contrived and rehearsed. Nothing about this movie was natural.

    58. Bryn Says:
      July 12th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

      AGH I completely agree with you! When I first saw Juno I thought, “Oh, cool! I love this movie! I might just have to go see it again and then buy it and listen to the sound track repeatedly until I am as cool as Juno!” Then after a month or so (waiting for it to come out on DVD) I developed a really bad taste in my mouth about this movie. High schoolers and the college age set talk about this movie like it’s the second coming. Newsflash, it’s not. And although it may succeed at being funny and cute at times, deep down it is a really, REALLY annoying movie that will date faster than a gallon of milk.

    59. temperance Says:
      July 15th, 2008 at 8:52 am

      You are a voice of reason in a sea of “Juno” insanity. The movie was a talent bloodbath with stars hemmed in by a “Dawson’s Creek” script. And I’m so sick of the “yuppie v. punk” trope. If I wouldn’t want to hang out with any of the characters, why would I want to watch them sling weak tea dialog for 90 minutes? I was so bored.

    60. bdahboom Says:
      July 16th, 2008 at 7:53 am

      “Perhaps you are a bit out of touch if you don’t recognize that kids reference material from beyond their immediate generational exposure.”

      Yeah, you hip-grandmas got it all goin’ on alright.

    61. will Says:
      July 19th, 2008 at 11:45 am

      The problem is Juno is it’s humor is the kind that becomes annoying after hearing a
      “hip” joke for the thousandth time.

    62. Tarek Says:
      August 9th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

      You know this movie just didn’t move-me.
      Try Billy Elliot for a real knockout… flaky shiny wrappings don’t cover up too much.

    63. eedee Says:
      August 13th, 2008 at 12:53 am

      At this review’s outset, Kyle writes: ““Juno” is frequently funny, often winsome and way offbeat.”

      Hmmm…that sounds like a good movie to me. Why does Kyle then contrive to move away from this perspective? Kyle says that this movie’s main problem stems from it being the “hipster film of the year”, but this is Kyle’s label to begin with. Kyle fabricates a label to attack! As a matter of fact, all of Kyle’s criticisms seem to generate from his own “hipsterisms” and “one-liners”: the jab about how “best original screenplays” are the Academy’s nod to “hipster” films; the quip about really long Belle and Sebastian and Ben Folds Five songs; the observation that no sixteen year old would say the things Juno does, etc…Isn’t this a movie? A comedy in fact? Of course Juno is preternaturally confident, witty, mature, and quick for a sixteen year old!

      Actually, it’s ironic that Kyle, in attempting to undermine “Juno” by labeling it the “hipster” film of the year, undermines his own credibility by writing the “hipster” review of the year, failing to reasonably (much less artistically) justify his distaste.

    64. Chris Rivera Says:
      August 22nd, 2008 at 3:44 pm

      Yeah, when i read this review it was like a wave of relief. I finally found another person,among the group of band-wagoners, who didn’t like this film. I hated this film. Their were occasional bright spots where the character would reference something i knew (like Dario Argento and Suspiria), but i always felt that this movie was really snobbish in some ways. Movies like “Superbad” are fun to watch becuase you can relate to the absurdity. You can build a sense of attachment to the characters and have a great time seeing the film to it’s end.
      But not Juno. I dunno maybe it’s because i’m a Puerto Rican who’s lived in the ghetto all his life, or maybe it’s becuase i’m a devoted metal-head, or it could be the fact that in my city, most girls are pregnant by 16. I dunno, all i know is that this film has limited appeal to anyone who is actually different. Everyone i know who’s seen this film think it’s great, but they can never tell me why exactly. They love the one-liners and the hipster jargon, but they could care less about plot really. I dunno i hate this movie because there’s superior films out there that really are funny like “knocked up” or “superbad” that people can relate to.

    65. toe knee Says:
      September 8th, 2008 at 6:37 pm

      Well, it was worth watching, but I really agree with the review. The only thing I want to say is, that I watched this with my young teenage daughter, and I felt that it was my duty as her mother to explain to her that teenagers don’t really talk this way. I didn’t want her to have an inferiority complex because she can’t speak as wittily as Juno does when she turns 16. Is wittily a word? Maybe Juno would know.

    66. Arigatomina Says:
      September 9th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

      I liked this movie. It was fun and fast like Indepenence Day, but without boring “character building” and “grounding in the real world” moments. No, it’s not a realistic movie. No, a human being would never speak the way any of the characters in the movie do. If this were a novel, I’d tear it apart for the dialog, let alone plausibility. But it’s a comedy to entertain for an hour or two and then forget all but the really weird lines (I watched the movie four times before I realized she said “Thunder cats ho” and not “Under cats or go” – neither of which made sense in that situation).

      Still, crack is the same as splatter movies – it’s about the brainless quick entertainment and not *anything* thought provoking or resembling real life. Complaining about the unnatural dialog in this movie is like complaining that the animals depicted in a Garfield comic aren’t realistic. If it were real, it wouldn’t be funny. If we wanted real, we’d go outside and look around instead of staring at a tv for a few hours.

      That said, I really liked the review. I didn’t know this was a ‘hipster indie’ whatever movie. I don’t follow genres. I did wonder what kind of casual viewers were supposed to pick up even half of the references. I’m 28 and I don’t know anyone my age who recognized the bands and random names dropped all over this script. My mother liked this movie also, she’s in her forties, and she didn’t catch even a third of the references. My younger sister is 19 and she didn’t catch any more than I did. I was really curious who the target audience was. Who knows all this stuff? Who can follow it? This review answered my questions – hipsters and indie fans. Okay. That explains a lot. I don’t know anyone who’s ever met a hipster or indie fan. We must live in the wrong part of the world to be in on this joke.

    67. Rick H Says:
      September 12th, 2008 at 8:29 am

      I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago. I had heard that it was good but had not read any reviews. I think I got to about 40 minutes but couldn’t watch beyond this. It seemed like it was a full length version of one of my daughters TV shows. I was expecting Billy Ray Cyrus to the father. The girl was like one of the characters out of Dawson’s creek (30 something in a teen body and I haven’t disliked a character in film so much since Jar Jar Binks. Everyone else seemed to be straight out of That 70s show. The only thing this movie rated highly in was irritation.

    68. keith Says:
      September 12th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

      Excellent review! Spot-on! We watched it for the first time last night and despite Ellen Page’s impressive job of acting, the movie was a let-down. Most of the problem there lies in the unrealistic dialogue. It was like watching “Look Who’s Talking,” except with a 16 year old mouthing the screenwriter’s acerbic barbs instead of infants. And did this movie throw the Jason Bateman character under the bus in record time or what? To such a degree that it didnt even make sense, and led me to wonder whether the problem here was with the script or the editing process? Whatever it was, something was seriously wrong there. Anyway, great to read your review. I cant believe the herd mentality evident in the rush to praise this rather capricious movie. (well…actually i can.)

    69. Renee Says:
      October 15th, 2008 at 8:16 am

      I don’t like this film either. Ellen paige annoyed me all the way through the film and like others have said, I found the film was trying too hard. I find it funny how people think that people who don’t like Juno don’t like Little Miss Sunshine either because while I don’t like Juno, LMS is actually one of my favourite films.

    70. Amy Says:
      November 3rd, 2008 at 5:20 pm

      I feel that you criticized the movie too much for not being realistice, when in reality, I find more occurences in this film that represent my life than in many others. Juno was a smart and confident, young girl despite her pregnancies, and why shouldn’t she be? It is so difficult for teenage girls to be confident in everyday circumstances. To me Juno represents how girls should feel about themselves. It is an outdated value to believe that pregnant teens and their families should be embarrassed by a pregnancy. So many teenagers become pregnant in today’s time and the best thing for them is support. It is not an ideal situation for the teenager or the family, but why sit around and feel sorry for yourselves when you could be happy. This movie reminds me a lot of my family and other families I know. We laugh about hard times instead of cry. Laughing makes you feel better and feeling better is what you need in hard times.

    71. Slick Says:
      November 14th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

      Well, here it is November 14, 2008 and I’m just now getting around to seeing this movie. The reviews have been raving and, thus, my expectations were high. Sixty minutes into this and I was struggling to stay awake. And yes, I would say that I was privy to about 90% of the pop-culture references and slang terms peppered throughout this “story”, and it still was not funny, endearing or clever. As a mater of fact, this film wasn’t anything; it wasn’t funny (well, there were a few chuckles here and there), it wasn’t deep, riveting, thought-provoking, emotional… nothing. It was just blah and the dialouge was exceedingly boring, awkward, and devoid of emotion and feeling. The “hipster” witticisms are not even the worst thing about the dialogue in this movie; it’s the pure hollowness of the dialogue that makes this flick unbearable. Take Garner and Bateman’s characters, for example. The verbal interaction between them was just weird and painfully unnatural. Diablo tried too hard to be minimalist and as a result, the dialogue is full of holes. After all the hype, awards and huge box office revenues, I expected a good movie. I am utterly shocked and amazed at how mediocre this film turned out to be. The most unfortunate aspect of Juno is the fact that it really has a great premise, but the execution is horrible and what could have been a groundbreaking, engrossing, and heartfelt movie turned out to be… a piece of crap. After watching this movie, the first thing I did was go to and thus far, Kyle’s is the only negative review I’ve found. People are such sheep.

    72. Sarah Says:
      December 18th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

      I took my daughter to see this. Not more than 5 minutes into the movie she looked at me and rolled her eyes.

      I guess what irritated me about the movie was that I was a lot like Juno–annoyingly witty, although not as annoyingly witty as Juno. I know I wasn’t tolerated anywhere near as much as Juno was. It wasn’t just that we there aren’t many girls like Juno, except me perhaps, but that there was such nonchalance about her pregnancy. Also, for a girl as small as Juno, she didn’t seem to be particularly uncomfortable holding all the weight from the baby.

      I know that there are those that feel that this is a model of how someone in Juno’s condition should be treated. While that’s true, it doesn’t make for a satisfying movie. A self-esteem oriented documentary would suffice to achieve this goal.

      The part that redeemed the movie was when Bateman’s character comes on to Juno. It teaches a lesson without having to experience it. That awkward segment alone makes viewing this film worthwhile. Probably one of the best awkward moments in movie history.

    73. Critics Already Tiring of Diablo Cody | Says:
      January 16th, 2009 at 10:31 am

      […] pointed out similar annoyances a few hours after I first saw “Juno.” To add to what Patterson says, note that most of […]

    74. Mike Says:
      January 26th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

      For me personally, Juno’s forced jokes didn’t work. I don’t think I laughed at any point during the movie. The plot was interesting to some degree at least.

    75. Sy Says:
      February 9th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

      I saw Juno last night for the first time and I find some of the comments here off the mark. What exactly did you expect from this movie? And are you disappointed because you didn’t get it? I would rather watch a movie that catches me off guard. I think many missed the little lessons hidden in the ‘hipster’ stuff. Like how when life gets hard you should keep going, keep your chin up and deal with it. Did you want Juno to go in hiding, when she got pregnant? Hide under the covers and cry for 9 months? And what did you expect her parents to do, slap her? Yell at her? How would that make things better? Also am I the only one who got the jab at the common notion of what “good parents” are supposed to be like? We don’t need the ultrasound technician to see that society thinks young, rich, good looking professionals must be by definition good parents, while the stupid teenager would be the bad parent, when in fact, the adults turn up to be more immature about parenting than the teenager. Juno is supposedly the one that doesn’t care while the adoptive parents were just born to be parents, and yet did you notice that Juno’s main concern is for the baby to have a good, happy family while the couple’s main concern is the color of the nursery wall? And how about the judgmental attitude of those around Juno, like the ultrasound technician. I loved it when Juno’s mom puts her in her place. And yes I did love the caustic one-liners.
      Also, the immature guy who leaves his wife to pursue his dream was put there to show us what can happen to people who give up on their dreams too soon. And if Juno had kept the baby, she would have done the same and would have grown to regret it. I don’t know, I saw quite a few layers to the film more than the hip references. Maybe I read too much into it. Or maybe you guys didn’t read enough into it.

    76. conrad Says:
      April 10th, 2009 at 7:51 am

      Fun movie, Jennifer garner was excellent. The character of Juno seemed like the Jason Lee character in mallrats…funny in the early/mid nineties, bit cliched today

    77. Raj Says:
      May 20th, 2009 at 3:24 am

      Nice movie, hilarious dialogues, great acting, and PATHETIC review!!! We can see the point, you had to go against the flow, so praise a dumb movie like Knocked-up and criticize Juno. What’s next, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan as the best movie of the decade? You are the real hipster!

    78. Oddey Says:
      June 10th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

      I got Juno as a rental (thank god!) It wasn’t bad but for all the hype, I found it lacking and I kept leaving the room to either do laundry or fix a snack while the dvd kept playing. It didn’t hold my attention one bit, not like Persepolis or Ghostworld which btw had a very horrid character that I couldn’t relate to either (like Juno) but at least I could she where she was coming from. with Juno I just believe her character one bit. I didn’t care about the witty dialouge as much, the hamburger phone or even the Morgan Freeman bone colector mistakes..I wasn’t paying close attention and most of these kinda went over my head (till I read all the nit-picking reviews which makes me wonder how the screenplay won the Oscar)
      What bugged me the most and was how non plused she felt about the pregnancy. Falling pregnant after having sex for the first time at 16. I’m over 30 and if I fell pregnant to someone who was only kinda my boyfriend, I would be freaking out. but she goes thru the motions like a its her 10th pregnancy. The way she break the news to her best friend and the absurb way she tells the father..she has to haul the chair all the way to his front door and pretend to smoke a pipe. I can understand if you want to be cute but that whole scene felt too contrived. The funny thing is when you finish the movie you think, “well that wasn’t terrific”..but then it has a weird way of getting under your skin..and not in a good way and it will continue to disturb you for the next day and later, you find yourself absolutely hating it and trawling the internet for some explanation and closure!

    79. aquinas Says:
      July 10th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

      Your reviews displays the total lack of attention given to the conveyance of thought and feeling through image. Your writing reads like a book review, and it is disheartening to have to remind a (supposed) professional film critic about the importance of unspoken character development. A line you quote is the most telling: (She: “I got bored and had sex with you.” He: “I know you weren’t bored that day because there was a lot of good stuff on TV.”) The line along with the looks and suggestion of the actors shows that this is exactly how they do not feel. They had planned this emotionally important event are actually are in love with each other. Of course, there is a lot of reference to this fact in the film that was strategically glossed over in your review, well done there. I could go on, but I don’t take any pleasure in pointing out the obvious lack of attention paid to subtle direction, cinematography, scoring and acting. Critiquing films as a screenplay is not how a professional reviews movies.

    80. Patrick Says:
      February 25th, 2010 at 3:55 am

      Three years after the fact, this is the only review that smacks Juno right in the stomach with a 2X4. Kudos, Kyle. Best film critic on Rotten Tomatoes.

    81. Hmmmm... Says:
      March 8th, 2010 at 12:19 am

      Just saw it. Excellent review.

      I have to add one thing I have not seen mentioned.

      Being a Minnesotan, I’m quite interested in what “one of our own” does. However, the buggy part for me is that the geography is all over the place! Really, for a MN screenwriter, she should have done a little better coordinating area. Stillwater is nowhere near St. Cloud, Ridgedale mall is not in a small town, Mankato is in the other direction, etc, etc….it’s like the writer just is dropping a couple of main names here and there. And to my dissapointment, little, if any scenes are filmed here, but Vancouver/BC, no where near MN. For touting MN, Cody should have known we’d all be watching and taking note.

    82. jules Says:
      April 22nd, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      bang-on, kyle. as someone who got pregnant out of wedlock in my teens and gave my baby up for adoption, i tried to resist to see this film for the longest time. i was too afraid to come face to face with the emotions i tried to keep at bay over the years. when i finally summoned the courage to watch this film, holding my breath, to see the rawness of such a human moment… it never came. am still holding my breath. what a MISSED OPPORTUNITY juno is: just a lot of noise from an empty can. no, i did not expect it to have REAL characters and REAL events, and especially not drama, this is comedy in film afterall — a medium that zooms in and distills the human experience to reveal truth — but i did expect it to have heart and the REALNESS of the human condition, in comedy most of all. what a shame juno was more concerned about being glib than being human.

    83. Rebekah Kennedy Says:
      May 26th, 2010 at 3:05 am

      Conservative, smervative. I’m a radical feminist and I hated this movie as much as the author. A teen that doesn’t give a damn about her baby but carried it to term anyway to make some other woman a mom? That’s not liberal or conservative, just unrealistic. Placing a child for adoption is painful, kind of like trying to ride a bicyle after giving birth. Seriously, check out the end of the movie in which B-Mom regresses from driving to biking to symbolise her return to childhood as if the baby never happened. That’s just dehumanizing. Nothing in this filmis liberating or empowering to young women.

    84. Gah Says:
      June 5th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

      “check out the end of the movie in which B-Mom regresses from driving to biking to symbolise her return to childhood as if the baby never happened.”

      The intolerably twee soundtrack really tries to underscore the whole winsome “innocence of childhood” thing. The comment above comparing it to the “Look Who’s Talking” movies is sharply observed.

    85. Brooke Says:
      July 22nd, 2010 at 7:05 am

      “Would a 16-year-old girl really drop references to “The Goonies” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”?”

      Yes, a 16-year-old could. You seem to be one of those utterly exasperating 30-somethings who underestimate the intelligence of teenagers.

    86. Semonti Says:
      September 21st, 2010 at 8:42 am

      ““Would a 16-year-old girl really drop references to “The Goonies” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”?”
      Yes, a 16-year-old could. You seem to be one of those utterly exasperating 30-somethings who underestimate the intelligence of teenagers.”

      And you Brooke, seem to be one of those ‘utterly exasperating’ teenagers who views understanding a reference to a heavily marketed 80s film and a classic Jules Verne novel as a demonstration of intelligence.

    87. Robert P. Says:
      September 21st, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      Does anyone ever remark how racist the scene is when this exchance occurs:

      “Juno, is that you?”

      “No, it’s Morgan Freeman do you have any bones that need collecting?”

      It’s obviously a reference to The Bone Collector, that crappy Denzel Washington movie, and it very much does NOT star Morgan Freeman.

      But hey, I guess major black stars are interchangable to Jason Reitman & Diablo Cody.

    88. Adolfo E. Says:
      October 11th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      I feel like I have to write my reaction to Juno just to be on record. I watched the movie when it was first released in theathres a couple of years ago. It was definitely one of the worst films that I have ever seen. It is no coincidence that I agree on many of the points that this critic brings to light. However, I feel that I should add my own 2 cents to rationalize why the public has had such an unexpectedly positive reaction to this film.

      I believe that this film has as much substance as those terrible “Disaster” movies that have been released as of late – i.e. “Disaster Movie”, “Meet the Spartans,” etc. What these films have in common is that they have no plot and no new insights. The difference between Juno and these other films is that Juno is excessively “clever” in its one-liners; for some strange reason, everyone in this movie has the talent to make caustic remarks without flinching. This is the feature of the film that captivates the mass audience.Yes, we live in a world in which most people can no longer focus their attention on a narrative with a normal flow; most people now have “better” things to do – like tweeting, checking email, sending mindless text messages to a randomly-selected contact in their cell phones, etc. Thus, a film imbued with a plethora of these misused one-liners is mistaken for a movie with great substance. I think the people who did not like it, such as myself, are those for whom cleverness needs to have context within the film. If the situations and characters of a film seem highly implausible,awkward, and contrived, wit cannot effectively mask us from the truth. This movie is as hollow as Juno’s womb was after she gave birth!!!

    89. Dan Says:
      March 24th, 2011 at 7:11 am

      You know, although I kind of agree that every character is a little too articulate and funny, I still love this movie. I’m sure every upper class character in Shakespeare wouldn’t be able to speak in perfect verse but we suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy great writing. Now I’m not likening Juno to Shakespeare,, but I do think it is one of the best written movies of the last decade or so.

    90. IndigoVoice Says:
      August 13th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Wow. I got frostbite from just reading this review.

      Today, Juno happened to be On Demand for free, so I decided to watch it again. Maybe it was where I was in my life at the time, but today I really experienced far more from it then the first time I saw it. You really have to open your mind and heart when you watch this movie. It is not the kind of movie that will hit you over the head with its deeper meaning. For those living life at a lower consciousness level and only looking superficially at things will see it as just a “dumb hipster” movie. It is subtle and has a not so transparent agenda of making you fall in love with love. This movie had many layers that deals with self esteem, identity issues, family hardships, learning to let go, and going for your dreams, and following your heart. As trite as that may seem to some of you with more emotionally reserved hearts, it is true.

      This is an amazing movie about the longing that we have to be understood by someone we love. Even though the characters may come off very clumsy in their approach, you can see the true meaning behind their words. I am a pro-choicer, and I did not feel at all a pro-life agenda. Even when I was expecting one! There of course was a funny little moment of running into a friend from school protesting in front of the abortion clinic, but I did’t get the sense that even had anything to do with her choice while there. It didn’t seem like it was top of the list for the director either.

      It really has some tender moments delicately positioned in the movie to not just make you feel, but to make you think and question your own pursuit of love and your dreams.

      I saw the bigger picture here. I am not sure that Kyle qualifies as a good judge of movies for the rest of us. Why does society need reviewers anyways? If you listen to him, you might miss out on a truly good movie AND I am no hipster.

    91. Kyle Says:
      August 14th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      I enjoyed “Falling in Love With Love.” That was a 1974 Dan Fogelberg album, right?

    92. SK Says:
      August 14th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      “Why does society need reviewers anyways?”

      But IndigoVoice, didn’t you just review the movie?

      I read some reviewers simply because I like their writing style. I often read reviews after I have seen the movie, just to find out someone else’s opinion. Maybe society doesn’t need reviewers, but they usually add to my enjoyment of entertainment.

    93. kishke Says:
      August 14th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Why does society need reviewers anyways?

      To get an idea of whether a movie is worth spending your time and money on. Obviously. It was a silly question. If a particular reviewer is not to your taste, well, then, find another.

    94. Union Jack Says:
      August 14th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      movie reviewers ™ a mismomer

      even worse term—film critics ™

      more like industry promoters


      water carriers for moguls paid in popcorn crumbs

    95. Union Jack Says:
      August 14th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      tho good jobs program for postindustrial amurrica

      where else would they work

    96. SK Says:
      August 14th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      I’d love to know where YOU work, Union Jack.

    97. Obama bin Biden Says:
      August 15th, 2013 at 8:47 am

      And six years later, hipsters are still annoying.

    98. JimmyC Says:
      August 15th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      “Ohmigod, this guy wrote a review I disagree with, therefore movie reviewers shouldn’t exist!” -IV

    99. Moe Says:
      August 15th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Juno is no deep end of the cinematic pool like Stalker or The White Ribbon. It’s a quirky formulaic comedy with a really bad script. And I think Kyle nailed it by saying that it’s obviously a film penned by a thirty-something adult trying to approximate teenage jargon quite cumbersomely.

      In a year where awesome American films ruled the landscape like No Country For Old Men, Zodiac, There Will Be Blood, and Assassination Of Jesse James… Juno is strictly second rate. Diablo Cody’s Oscar win was more glaring than Marisa Tomei’s.

    100. Union Jack Says:
      August 16th, 2013 at 9:06 am

      film critic ™—

      someone who cant get past receptionist for pitch mtg with h-wood mogul

      takes out bitterness on the creative

      film critic ™–

      ann rand moochers not galts roarks

    101. The-Quirky-Comedy-That-Could Backlash | Moviegique Says:
      September 20th, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      […] The characters are too low key for her, too flat, ironic, sarcastic, etc. The second is from Kyle Smith, who regards it as a “hipster” movie.As with complaints made against Sunshine and […]

    102. The-Quirky-Comedy-That-Could Backlash | The Bitmaelstrom Says:
      October 10th, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      […] The characters are too low key for her, too flat, ironic, sarcastic, etc. The second is from Kyle Smith, who regards it as a “hipster” movie.As with complaints made against Sunshine and […]