Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cute don't cut it

When someone asks me what I thought of a movie, and my instinctive response is, "it was cute", that's not necessarily a good thing. In my book, cute movies are pleasant and sufficiently entertaining, but they don't blow me away.

Juno is just that: cute. I liked it enough, but I failed to see all the Oscar hype surrounding it. My friend John told me it's being touted as this year's Little Miss Sunshine, but I beg to disagree with the comparison. For one thing, though both are considered "indie" flicks, I felt Juno sold out towards the end of its story and turned disappointingly trite and Hollywood-cheesy. And though like Little Miss Sunshine, Juno features a precocious girl as its main protagonist, Sunshine has the advantage of having a memorable, quirky screenplay, and memorable, quirky supporting characters. Juno has... Jennifer Garner. Not that Mrs. Ben Affleck didn't do well; in fact, I've never been a fan of hers, but in this film,
she acquitted herself well as a woman wanting to adopt the baby of a pregnant teenager (played with smart-mouthed assurance by young Ellen Page). But aside from being moved by Garner's nuanced performance, and adequately impressed with Page's promising talent, Juno did nothing for me. It felt more like a long TV dramedy episode than a full-length film, and I've seen better from watching Ugly Betty.


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