I usually attend four or five film festivals a year, and my assignments usually fall firmly within the 'genre' category -- especially the scary stuff. If it's a horror movie, a blood-soaked action-fest, a sci-fi thriller or a Japanese story about creepy undead children -- that's the stuff I'm assigned first. So how do we explain this weird aberration? There were several cool horror flicks at Sundance '07, and yet my favorite film (by far) was a sweet little chick flick called Waitress. And then today, after enjoying some solid old-school splatter from Dario Argento AND Stuart Gordon, I was most blown away by an off-kilter, low-key and wonderfully original comedy called Juno.

Sometimes (and particularly at film festivals) you like a movie so much that you want to get the word out there as soon as possible -- but with time being very tight you don't really have the time to give a film the thousand-word love letter it deserves. And so, because I'm as busy as I am lazy, I'll give you a surface-level plot synopsis and then just dole out some bullet points on Juno's most excellent components.

The story centers on an acerbic-yet-lovable 16-year-old (yes, named Juno) who gets knocked up by her boyfriend and then decides to follow through with the pregnancy and give the infant to a loving yuppie couple who can't have a baby of their own. That's pretty much it, god bless the whip-smart, snarky and powerfully funny screenplay by blogger / author / former stripper Diablo Cody.