Friday, March 14, 2008

Still a fan of Juno

It's been a couple of months since I finally saw the adoption comedy Juno, and though I've meant every day to post here about it, it's March already, the Oscar is lost, the movie's out of most theaters, and the backlash against this small charming movie is in full swing. It hurts my feelings, a little, to see how people pile on these modest films that unexpectedly become popular.

Me? Loved it then, love it now, will buy the DVD on Day 1.

I suppose I can see how birthparents might have some objections to the way Juno, a pregnant teen, chooses to have her baby and give it to someone she finds in the PennySaver, without making any sort of appropriate plan. And I suppose I can see how parents who adopted children from China might be offended by young Juno characterizing Chinese adoption as giving away infants like iPods, although I'd probably suggest they get a sense of humor.

But in general, for adoptive parents? Let's just say, it's our answer to birthparent fantasies like August Rush.

In particular, I adored the performance of Jennifer Garner as the prospective adoptive mom. I wanted to give her a hug, and maybe send her flowers. I think she hit so many perfect notes along the way, from seeming sort of stiff and businesslike at the beginning, to being obsessed with baby minutiae, to demonstrating a genuine love and appreciation for kids. I loved the fact that Juno was able to see past her initial assessment of the adoptive couple to realize that Vanessa was meant to be her baby's mom.

In the end, you know, it's not a documentary. It's not supposed to be the last word on anything. It's kind of quirky, with a dialog and rhythm that are not exactly naturalistic. But I loved its spirit, and its validation of the sort of family I've formed. The writing is fun and the performances are excellent.

Below, the film's trailer. It's due out on DVD April 15. I've got my copy pre-ordered.

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