I saw the movie Juno last weekend. With spoilers, here are some random observations and thoughts:

  • Fingernails. One of the things that convinces Juno to have the baby is the revelation that fetuses have fingernails. I laughed out loud at that one. When we were living in our Deseret basement apartment, our LDS landlords upstairs had a never ending churn of grandchildren through their four daughters. I met one of the little ones very shortly after birth. I don’t think that I’d ever seen such a young infant and the thing that stood out at me most was her tiny, tiny little fingernails. “She has fingernails!” I exclaimed. I didn’t think that infants didn’t have fingernails. I just hadn’t thought about it.
  • Lorings. The part that most stood out to me about the Lorings at the outset was the banishment of all of Mark’s things to a single room. Clancy and I go back and forth about what our future house will look like decoratively and one of her stock responses to some of my requests that she’s not fond of is that I will get a room where I will get to put anything I want. I’m a little concerned that we’ll end up in a situation where I get a room and she gets the rest of the house. We’ll probably be able to work something out, though. We’re pretty good at that. This probably deserves its own post.
  • Parents. Unlike Spungen, I thought that the movie handled the parental (and adult) reaction about right. Not horror, but disappointment and a willingness to help guide her through it. I’d imagine a similar reaction from my parents and from the blue-collar parents of my ex-girlfriend Julie. Her mother might subtlely have pushed for an abortion, but once it became obvious that she wasn’t going to have one (if she wasn’t, of course), I figure they’d go along as Juno’s folks did.
  • Music. Unlike Ethan, I loved the soundtrack.
  • Dialogue. The dialogue was a little too cool for school at a couple points, but I thought it helped the movie along more than it irritated or detracted from authenticity.
  • Mark Loring. I knew that he was going to have a downfall and be revealed to be the less admirable of the couple, but I didn’t know his unwillingness to grow up would culminate in an inappropriate affection for Juno. I interpreted his early actions to that of a stay-at-home wife… the loneliness of being at home and the latching on to an outside figure. As the movie went on I wasn’t too surprised about the dance scene where it all started to unravel. The line “How do you think of me?” was perfectly delivered. You can see the realization of his age on his face. Well done, Mr. Bateman.
  • Mark Loring II. The similarities between Mark Loring and my friend Clint are eerie. When he and I talked about the movie, i was afraid of bringing it up, but he did. A love of music, the ability to write jingles, the attraction to a more dominating sort of partner… not the hitting on 15 year old pregnant girls, though.
  • Vanessa Loring. I know that she totally wanted to be a mother and all that, but I’m not sure I buy her decision to still be in after the separation with Mark. She struck me very much as the type of person that needed everything to be “just so” and being a single mother, no matter how much she wanted to be a mother, would strike me as ruining it for her. Maybe I don’t fully understand a woman’s calling to be a mother or maybe I just didn’t buy the redemption of her that I was supposed to.
  • Juno MacGuff. She’s entertaining on the screen, but I think she would be supremely annoying to deal with in real life.
  • Paulie Bleaker. He’s the good guy on screen, but he too wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to know in real life.
  • Mac MacGuff. He’s the kind of guy I wouldn’t mind knowing in real life. He reminded me a little bit of Evangeline’s father when I liked him before I started feeling sorry for him. Except that Mac was responsible.
  • The Note. I couldn’t actually read what the Jiffy Lube said until I went back and saw it again after the movie ended. I caught the drift, though.
  • Adoption. Even though I didn’t know at the outset whether she would keep the baby or not, I was totally taken in and thus surprised when she gave it away anyhow. Partially because of my above observation about Vanessa.
  • Overall. I really enjoyed the movie. I don’t know that it was quite worthy of all the attention and praise, but I was thoroughly entertained.

Category: Theater

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10 Responses to Thoughts on Juno

  1. Peter says:

    So you liked Juno? Guess that means you’re a member of the Caucasian race.

  2. trumwill says:

    Yeah, I’m about as white as you get.

  3. Spungen says:

    Lorings. The part that most stood out to me about the Lorings at the outset was the banishment of all of Mark’s things to a single room.

    She struck me very much as the type of person that needed everything to be “just so”

    I knew that he was going to have a downfall and be revealed to be the less admirable of the couple, but I didn’t know his unwillingness to grow up would culminate in an inappropriate affection for Juno. I interpreted his early actions to that of a stay-at-home wife… the loneliness of being at home and the latching on to an outside figure. As the movie went on I wasn’t too surprised about the dance scene where it all started to unravel. The line “How do you think of me?” was perfectly delivered.

    As you know, I didn’t see the movie. This review does not make me regret that. Your description of the Lorings sounds like a shallow, offensive stereotype that’s it’s unsurprising was created by a shallow, egomaniacal twit like Brook Busey. They’re a boring older professional couple — unlike Busey herself, who is a wild child with (gasp) dyed hair and piercings! She dates older musicians with kids by other women! She is so cool, unlike these restrictive decor-obsessed perfectionist working women with their poor lonely misunderstood horny husbands.

    Busey obviously relates to Juno, and she obviously thinks she’s a clever original sex goddess for whom any man would want to leave his wife, especially if she was a boring professional like Spungen. Was Ms. Loring by any chance a lawyer?

  4. Spungen says:

    P.S. The reason Ms. Loring keeps the baby is to glorify single motherhood. God forbid a traditional relationship should work out well. Not in the spoiled twit world of Busey, where she marries middle-aged divorced musician fathers she meets over the internet on a whim, bonds with their daughters, then divorces them when her career (fed by his leeched coolness) takes off. She is such a filthy pig. All the fun of screwing up like a prole without any of the drawbacks, because her parents have money.

  5. Vincent O. Moh says:

    Let’s see…

    Spungen sid: “Not in the spoiled twit world of Busey, where she marries middle-aged divorced musician fathers she meets over the internet on a whim, bonds with their daughters, then divorces them when her career (fed by his leeched coolness) takes off.”

    And that’s irrelevant to Juno, as the immature HUSBAND divorces the wife in that film. The wife was not expecting this to happen and the husband is at fault for the divorce.

    I saw the film, so I know.

  6. Vincent O. Moh says:

    By the way:
    * “and being a single mother, no matter how much she wanted to be a mother, would strike me as ruining it for her. Maybe I don’t fully understand a woman’s calling to be a mother or maybe I just didn’t buy the redemption of her that I was supposed to.”

    She is the breadwinner of the family so she clearly has the means to be a mother. This is an age where working mothers do not have as much stigma. She may even have enough money to hire nannies.

    If the woman was poor, then being single would be a problem.

  7. trumwill says:

    Vincent,

    It wasn’t a matter of having the money or not having the money that lead me to feel the way that I do about the character and her decision. She can obviously afford it (including nannies). The issue is that she will be raising the girl alone (and/or with the help of hired help). That’s not optimal for anybody. Vanessa Loring struck me as the kind of character that wants everything to be perfect and that deals with imperfection poorly.

  8. Willard Lake says:

    My wife identified with Vanessa more than anyone else in the movie. Having had fertility problems for years, she, and I, know all too well the feelings of longing and need to be a parent. I thought the acting was brilliant, and the screenplay was excellent.

  9. Vincent O. Moh says:

    Trumwill, if Vanessa can competently raise a child as a single parent, why should it be an issue?

    While it is true that we cannot expect perfection, at the same time we should strive towards goals in life. Vanessa is not expecting an angel – she is expecting an imperfect but still lovable child. She knows that being a single mom is not the “ideal” family situation, she knows that she can still provide a “loving family.” She knows that there is no significant societal pressure on single mothers who are financially stable.

    I can understand how one can say that a “traditional” family setup is the best; it’s just that American society tolerates nontraditional setups too and that is how Vanessa can make her dream of motherhood work.

    I agree with Willard Lake’s sentiments.

  10. trumwill says:

    Vincent, I’m not condemning her decision from a moral or practical standpoint. It just came across as out-of-character in the context of how the character was shown to me. It just didn’t seem like the decision that she would make under those circumstances. Willard’s wife, maybe. Vanessa Loring, not so much.

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