Juno Is Just Great!

Opening this week is Juno, which is pretty terrific. Ellen Page is simply sensational as the spunky, defiantly nonconformist, 16-year-old Juno, who finds she is pregnant after sleeping with boyfriend Bleeker (the goofy, sweetly endearing, Michael Cera). She decides to have the baby and give it up to a deserving couple, which she picks out of an ad in a penny saver (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner). And that’s the jumping off part to Jason Reitman’s marvelously offbeat comedy, which is sheer joy from beginning to end. Much of that is because of the smart screenplay by Diablo Cody, which crackles with comic effervescence and sly wit -- there are times when the jokes machine-gun past you at alarming speed. But Page gives such dynamic assertion to the role, that in other hands might be cloyingly cute. J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney are just delightful as her accepting parents. As for Juno, any girl who digs Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Dario Argento is my kind of gal.

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