Juno is a 2007 hybrid comedy-drama genre film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Ellen Page stars as the protagonist who is an independent teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy and the events that put pressures of adult life onto her.
Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman also star. Filming started from early February to March 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The film premiered on September 8th at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, receiving a standing ovation.
In the film, a dialogue in the movie is significant when, Juno describes her school colleague that belongs to the American football with his “cool jacket” that has the team’s name on it and should be going out with the “perfect-straight-blonde-hair cheerleader girl”. But what he really would like to do is to go out with indie-alternative-excluded girls like her. This is a significant reference to stereotypes, so most girls can identify themselves with one that appears on screen ranging from the “perfect” to “indie” girl in Juno’s point of view.
The Hamburger Phone that we see Juno use, has resulted to eBay being flooded with offers to sell it. In order to promote the movie, the studio has sent this phone to critics as part of its marketing strategy. And now, everybody wants to talk on a hamburger sandwich. This indicates that, Juno plays a strong protagonist for other teenage girls to follow through props, others including when she drinks Sunny D and when she plays the guitar.
Likewise, Michael Cera, who plays Bleeker, take this role too. He tends to eat orange tic-tacs and go running wearing his vibrant yellow shorts. This conveys a message that he is not interested in what other boys think of him. He just does what makes him happy (standing by Juno). The music, the clothes, the style, the sunglasses, the attitudes, every single little detail put into the movie is a product that is consumed and will be as people see it and go right after the screening of the film to search for its purchase/stream online.
On the subject of Juno film posters, one which stood out to me was with an orange and white striped background and Juno and Bleeker appear asymmetrically on the poster. The way Cera is scratching his head, identifies a ditzy character. On the other hand, Juno is portrayed as the type of character who is individualistic. We have an idea that the storyline is based on a teen pregnancy with to-be-parents who are not ready.
Unconventionally, as the poster contains the black writing on an orange and white striped background, it successfully mimics Juno’s striped indie T-shirt in order for the audience to identify her unique style. The colour scheme is also ideal in order to draw the audiences’ attention. The bright colours give the impression of a comedy even though the facial expressions are serious. Also, the quotation marks look quite cartoonist, which seemingly relates to their quirky personalities.
The film as a product aims towards both lower and upper class (Juno’s family represent lower class and Vanessa and Mark represent upper class). The sound track was eighth out of 200 on the U.S. Billboard, after its first week of release, reaching to number three and number two in the following weeks.
In 2009, 9th February, the album hit number one, with 65,000 copies sold. After this success, it did eventually drop to number two after a week. The album has become a platinum record in the U.S. selling over 1,000,000 copies. The film has won several awards such as: Best original screenplay, Canadian comedy awards, Independent Spirit Awards and The National Movie Awards.
The DVD is available via Amazon and HMV ranging between £2.89 and £2.99. The Box Office budget was estimated as $7,500,000, where the opening weekend achieved a staggering amount of $413,869 in the USA, in 2007 December 9th – appearing on seven screens.
Rotten Tomatoes’ reviews reveal that 89% of the audience like Juno. 185 of the reviewers gave good reviews and only 13 respondents gave a bad review. The Guardian review from Peter Bradshaw awards Juno with 5 stars. He stated that: “Juno is a fiction with irresistible charm and wit and Page carries everything before her, creating a character with a powerful sense of right and wrong, an overwhelming belief in monogamy, and a nascent talent for leadership.”
The comments made my Bradshaw are all positive and reinforces Juno capability to act as a role model for teenagers. Also a BBC review by Stella Papamichael shares both negative and positive together with an overall rating of 4 stars. She states that: “…the film isn’t always credible. Juno’s father (JK Simmons) is too glib to be taken seriously.”
However, she then expresses that, “Except for this self-conscious indie branding, Reitman has delivered a bundle of joy.” This can be perceived as Juno making her choices independently even if her father’s parenting is considered to be too ‘superficial’.
In relation to the trailer, the colourful background is complimented by cheerful piano music, which indicates a positive mood to the audience. This image is cross cut into a mid-shot of Juno who is taking a pregnancy test. Showing this right at the beginning of the trailer gives away various themes that are dealt with in the further scenes of the film (like teenage sexual health and teenage pregnancy).
There is a close-up of the pregnancy test, which is made using special effects as it shakes and the ‘+’ symbol that usually appears is replaced with ‘Fox Searchlight Pictures’. The music changes as another theme of the film is shown in the trailer, which is adoption.
Overall, this trailer represents the film as an inspired, positive way to deal with an extremely difficult, controversial and challenging situation.