It's not every day that one gets to see a film that's charming, sweet, intelligent and also happens to be written by an erstwhile stripper/phone sex operator (who, incidentally, owns a cat named Douchepacker). I had that pleasure at the Toronto Film Festival, however, when I took in Juno, penned with surprising astuteness by first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody (the aforementioned former stripper), directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking), and starring Ellen Page (Hard Candy), Michael Cera (Superbad), Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner.
In the film, 16-year-old Juno MacGuff (Page) discovers that she's all knocked up after just one foray into sex with her best bud Paulie Bleeker (Cera), a sweet but clueless orange-Tic-Tac-addicted track star who seems perfectly content to let Juno have an abortion. She doesn't. Instead, she decides to keep the child and let a "perfect" young yuppie couple (Bateman and Garner), who can't have kids of their own, adopt her baby-to-be. The result is a hilarious, endearing and moving picture that explores family and friendship, loyalty and loss, and what it truly means to love someone, all while expertly avoiding turning into a gooey, steaming pile of melodrama.
I sat down with Jason Bateman and Ellen Page to talk about the film, and -- while the full interview won't be posted until the December release date nears -- I thought I'd give you a small yet delicious (some might say orange-Tic-Tac-like) taste of what I learned ...p>1) Memories of the 1991 Wes Craven horror flick The People Under the Stairs haunt Ellen to this day, so much so that they prompt her to "cry after sex."
2) Jason insists (jokingly) that the best way to relax for an interview is by taking a Quaalude. In actuality, he likes to suck on Mentos. They're the fresh-maker.
3) Jason is taller in person that he appears on the screen.
4) Ellen is just as petite in person as she appears on the screen.
5) Jason finds humor in the fact that Michael Cera was cast as a track star in Juno, considering Cera's skinny, hairless "woman legs" were the brunt of a running joke on Arrested Development.
6) Ellen is a compulsive tooth-brusher who hails from Nova Scotia -- not that those two things have any bearing on each other.
7) Both Jason and Ellen like the band Sonic Youth.
8) Both Jason and Ellen have no idea who the Thundercats are.
That's it for now. Hopefully those little nuggets whetted your Juno appetite. My full interview with Jason and Ellen will be posted in early December, but in the meantime you can get your Juno fix by checking out Scott's gushing Toronto review, Kim's equally adoring Telluride review, and Kim's interviews with Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman.