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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

‘Juno’ suffers major identity crisis

(1.5 stars out of 5)

Recently, comedies have taken a more grounded-in-reality approach rather than the shocking, gross-out humor of “American Pie.” Films like “Knocked Up” take real life scenarios and show how strange and funny life can be. So far, these comedies have been successful. Hoping to keep that streak going, director Jason Reitman follows up his cult-hit “Thank You for Smoking” with his latest, “Juno.” Unfortunately, “Juno” doesn’t live up to the films which preceded it.

The film revolves around title character Juno (Ellen Page), a 16-year-old high school junior living in Minnesota. After sleeping with her best friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), she learns she’s pregnant. Confused and frightened, she insists that she won’t terminate the pregnancy and instead asks her dad and stepmom for help. They decide on adoption. Juno finds a couple who can’t have children but desperately want one. They agree to adopt the baby when it’s born. Although she knows the baby will end up in good hands, Juno still has to deal with being 16 and pregnant.

The biggest problem with “Juno” is that it’s never quite sure what type of movie it wants to be. It tries to be a dramatic comedy, something like “Little Miss Sunshine,” but will switch gears and take a “Napoleon Dynamite” approach — sometimes blatantly copying it. More importantly, the movie never captures what made these other films so successful while simultaneously never feeling like its own movie. “Juno” has a serious identity crisis — one Reitman should have definitely worked on with first time writer Diablo Cody.

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In fact, the writing almost outweighs the identity issues as the biggest flaw of the film. The one thing a comedy needs to be a hit is a solid, witty script, something “Juno” lacks. The dialogue is atrocious, with lame one-liners like “You’re the cheese to my macaroni.” It’s not even so-bad-it’s-good, it’s just plain awful. I don’t know much about Cody, but if her world is filled with people talking like this, then we’re all doomed.

What irritated me the most was that only teenagers, or those trying to be “hip,” talked like this. It paints a very unflattering and downright false image of today’s youth. I’m not saying that no one teenager talks like this, but I’m willing to bet that an overwhelming majority of them would never be caught dead using the phrase “honest to blog.”

Nearly as weak as the dialogue is the soundtrack. Imagine the song that plays in the opening credits to “Napoleon Dynamite,” except it’s played throughout the entire movie. It seemed like after every 15 minutes of “witty” dialogue, Reitman “treats” us to another song with lyrics equally as bad as the script. Not only is this a major distraction, but the story has to come to a complete halt so we can hear another horrific song.

Reitman often uses these songs to help convey the character’s emotions. The problem is that Ellen Page does a fantastic job in portraying Juno, so the viewer gets beaten over the head with the same message. It seems that Reitman and Cody had little faith in the consciousness of their audience so they thought it necessary to take the extra time to tell you that Juno is sad or scared, despite it being blatantly obvious.

Like many other films released in 2007, I went in with high hopes. And like many of those films, I left disappointed. “Juno” could have been something special, but instead it ends up feeling like the bastard child of “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” You’d be better off watching those two films again than you would be seeing this.

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