Defending "Juno"

I remember going into see Juno at the begginning of December when it was mostly unknown and playing in limited release. Critics praised the film and urged people to stray away from tyical studio films and rush directly into this one. Now, Juno plays nationwide, is nominated for four oscars, and has made over $100 million. Suddenly it’s faced a giant backlash. People who stood by its side and other detractors are suddenly standing up and pointing out the film’s every flaw: it’s a phony, it’s unoriginal, it’s unrealistic, it’s not funny, and the list goes on. Despite all the criticism, I still stand by the film’s side and refuse to remove it from my top 10 movies of the year.
There’s an axiom that an independent film is only good until its discovered. That seems to be the case for Juno. I was lucky enough to see it before it had been discovered. As the credits roled, there was not a dry eye in the audience nor a single person who hadn’t gotten up and joined in the standing ovation the crowded theatre gave it. This was before the hype built up and the expectations so little. That’s why it seems most people who went to go see it now felt dissapointed, as if they were expecting the greatest movie ever made. My question is, do you really think they were trying to make the greatest film ever made? Would you be as dissapointed walking out of Norbit because it wasn’t the greatest film ever made? You probably weren’t expecting it to be (and you better not think so). So if you haven’t seen Juno yet, go in with no expectations and prepare to be surprised.
Now, let’s move on to the criticism. Some range from just matter of opinion, questioning if its really that funny or realistic. Some though are just plain ridiculous. On one website, a critic complained about the fact that Juno chugs a pitcher of Sunny D for her pregnancy test at the beggining of the film. He wonders, why Sunny D? Why couldn’t she just drink water. My question: what is the problem with drinking Sunny D? She couldv’e drank anything but I guess she liked that drink. Faulting the film at that is just sad and ridiculous. But the most serious criticism is the film’s dialogue. People are scorning it, saying that it’s “too hip”? Would you prefer the characters speak in 18th century British accents? I found the dialogue original and hilarious. To say that its not the way kids speak nowadays is not only cruel but hypocritical. Those people who accuse the film of this are adults. What do they now of how kids speak nowadays. It’s up to us kids to decide whether the dialouge is how we speak. My answer: yes. If you want a more realistic way of how teens talk nowadays, Juno would’ve face an R rating and an overload of “that’s what she said” jokes.
No matter what detractors say, I still love Juno as much as I did the day I first saw it. You may not be able to take down No Country at the Oscars, but Juno, you’re a firm reminder of the power of independent film, a subtle and hilarious comedy, and worthy of being mentioned in the Best Picture race. Continue to spread your charm and show what effect a great comedy can have.

  • Jocelyn

    Nice work Ian! I love JUNO