The comedy/drama Juno (2007), starring Ellen Page, with J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney as her dad and stepmom, presents a pretty functional family, something we don’t often see in films. Watch the trailer below:
As you can see, then, there’s the issue of an unplanned pregnancy in adolescence. As is so often the case, the review by Roger Ebert is spot on:
Juno informs her parents in a scene that decisively establishes how original this film is going to be. It does that by giving us almost the only lovable parents in the history of teen comedies: Bren (Allison Janney) and Mac (J.K. Simmons). They’re older and wiser than most teen parents are ever allowed to be, and warmer and with better instincts and quicker senses of humor…How infinitely more human and civilized their response is than all the sad routine “humor” about parents who are enraged at boyfriends.
Here’s the scene in which the teenager announces her news:
In the next clip, stepmom Bren and Juno’s friend Leah accompany her to her ultrasound:
Juno has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A sampling of reviews:
Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times:
Horrors — was this yet another soulless indie movie in which all the characters are deadpan and ironic and way too clever, accompanied by the kind of songs you might hear at an open-mic coffeehouse? But director Jason Reitman made a pretty great movie last time (‘Thank You for Smoking’), so I stayed in my seat. By its end, ‘Juno,’ in its guilelessly chatty way, touches the heart — and yes, I had tears in my eyes. This movie works, on its own terms.
Desson Thomson, Washington Post: “It transcends its own genre. Only superficially a teen comedy, the movie redounds with postmodern — but emotionally genuine — gravitas.”
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: “What kind of movie is Juno? The rarity that plucks your heartstrings while tickling them.”