“Juno” brings a special pang to the heart of this reviewer as I once found myself in a very similar situation to Juno. But I would never have made the same choice as the quirky Juno. Read the rave review and the personal story that had me and mine going such a different route.
Pic of the Day
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Drew Barrymore ... Chloe (voice)
Piper Perabo ... Rachel Ashe Lynn
Andy Garcia ... Delgado (voice)
George Lopez ... Papi (voice)
Cheech Marin ... Manuel (voice)
Paul Rodriguez ... Chico (voice)
Plácido Domingo ... Monte (voice)
Edward James Olmos ... Diablo (voice)
Loretta Devine ... Delta (voice)
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Aunt Viv
Luis Guzmán ... Chucho (voice)
So okay it’s a stupid movie with a plot so predictable I had the movie line mentally written by the end of the first scene. The best thing about this movie was the dogs. Real dogs were used, not cartoons. Excellent photoshopping of the talking dogs with mouths moving to match the English words of their dialogue made this movie very entertaining.
A pampered Chihuahua, from Beverly Hills of course, ends up in the wilds of Mexico, all involved in some sort of dog snatching/fighting imbroglio that ultimately gives Chloe the Chihuahua a lesson in a life hard-lived.
There’s a magnificent German Shepherd that gets involved in saving Chloe from the evil dognappers and meanwhile Chloe’s temporary human caretaker and the owner of Delgado, the Chihuahua that loves Chloe with all his small yappy dog heart and soul, are too trying to save Chloe the Beverly Hills Chihuahua before her owner, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, comes home from her trip abroad.
The plot twists and turns are totally unbelievable, almost laughable. A little Chihuahua ends up in Mexico but just like magic and with a snap of the fingers, her human caretakers manage to find her and chase her through the streets of Mexico, into the cages of the dog fights, on cross-country trains right into the local shops of a small dusty town.
But it’s not a plot meant to be believable. Add in the improbable characters of an Iguana and a rat for God’s sake and the viewer surely knows that this sort of thing would n’er be possible in the real world. Then again German Shepherds and Chihuahuas do not talk and there is no great valley of the mighty Chihuahuas in Mexico, populated by thousands of brave and proud Chihuahuas either.
It’s entertainment, pure and simple. The lives of the dog stars follow lives of humans, this so that the human viewers would better understand the story. Chloe the little Chihuahua learns how to be tough and tender without need for diamond collars. A grizzled former police dog re-gains his courage and sense of smell after helping a tiny Chihuahua grow and survive against all odds. Love flourishes between the landscaper’s rough and tough Chihuahua and the Beverly Hills Chihuahua who once snubbed him as way out of her canine league.
Get this movie for your kids, get it for yourself, spend an afternoon in this fantasy involving dogs, danger and happy endings.
I do not want to spoil this movie for anyone. Given the fact that Juno was released in 2008, I doubt I will. Still, someone might read this review who has not yet seen the movie. I myself just saw the movie in early November 2009 so it’s possible.
Thus I warn of possible spoilers.
Characters in the movie below:
Ellen Page ... Juno MacGuff
Michael Cera ... Paulie Bleeker
Jennifer Garner ... Vanessa Loring
Jason Bateman ... Mark Loring
Allison Janney ... Brenda 'Bren' MacGuff
J.K. Simmons ... Mac MacGuff
Olivia Thirlby ... Leah
Eileen Pedde ... Gerta Rauss
Rainn Wilson ... Rollo
Daniel Clark ... Steve Rendazo
Darla Vandenbossche ... Bleeker's Mom
IMDB of this movie here
I remember when this movie was released. Being a contributor on many conservative web sites I was surprised to hear that this movie was so well received by those with a conservative idealogy. I wondered why.
The reason, it would seem, was that Juno chose to give birth to her baby rather than have it aborted. Conservative idealogy would decree that a child is created at conception and to terminate the pregnancy is, essentially, murder.
Further, Juno was hailed as a “feelgood” movie, a film that would leave you with the proverbial smile on your face and song in your heart.
It also left me a bit confused about some things but let’s assert right here that this was a very, very enjoyable movie, miles above others, a cinematic prize, if not a masterpiece.
The movie left me thinking and pondering some things but many would argue that this is the mark of a fine film.
Let’s get out of the way here that my daughter too had a baby as a very young girl. She did not have an abortion, not because of a firm idealogy against same but more because by the time I discovered the pregnancy it was too late for that procedure, late term abortions notwithstanding. Although I’m not at all sure she would have had an abortion but let’s be clear that while in this day and age I, and she I must suppose now having a daughter of her own, have a firm opinion on the matter of murdering the unborm, at the time we perhaps had no firm principles on the matter as we’d never been faced with it. Also, at the time, the slippery slope murder of murdering infants moments before birth was not widely practiced, or known, and mothers-to-be wishing to avert, (and proudly bragging about it!), multiple pregnancies by killing one of several gestating babies that life not be one big Walmart shopping trip, was rare.
She did have a very “modern” adoption, some now 16 years ago. In fact, we “interviewed” perspective parents who had placed an ad in a local newspaper seeking young women just like my daughter who were looking to place their babies into a good home for adoption. It was all a bit disconcerting and understand it was not the sort of thing anyone has a whole lot of experience with once in the midst of dealing with it all.
In fact, my daughter might well be reading this review right now as she is one of the two to three people every day who read this Blog so let me tell her right here in public that she should watch this movie. She will absolutely love it.
Daughter and I were inundated with folks wanting desperately to adopt her baby. At the time I was so unaware of how it all worked that I’d phoned up five such folks who were looking to adopt a baby and that was a mistake.
Those people wanted a newborn baby to adopt so darn bad that I had to face an even more difficult decision, which was breaking four couples’ hearts. For only one would be chosen by my daughter to adopt her baby. If had a chance to do it over again I’d have been much more judicious in setting up meetings for this sort of thing but thank God I didn’t have to do it again.
This leads me into my bafflement as to why Juno went ahead and let the woman adopt her baby even though the couple originally set to adopt her baby would be getting a divorce.
I recall there being lots of loving couples who desperately wanted a healthy newborn, there was no need to have a single mother adopt the baby. Then Juno’s parents only interviewed one couple at the time, unlike me who thought human babies were like puppies, that the infant would take some time to unload, forgive my grammatical ungraciousness, but that’s what I thought the experience would be like before I got underway.
I had potential adoptors of daughter’s baby phoning me at work, begging me to consider them, telling me all that they could offer my soon-to-be-born biological grandchild. The decision of which of the five couples to allow to adopt her baby was, of course, my daughter’s. The heart wrenching task of informing those not chosen was on me. I had people break down in desperate sobs when I did my best to tell those rejected that they were fine people but that daughter had chosen someone else. I’ll never forget that most difficult thing I ever had to do in my entire life.
You can believe that if one of those couples had notified daughter that they would be divorcing she’d have chosen another couple right away. Children need two parents. We had such a wealth of potential parents for daughter’s baby that there was certainly no need to give the infant, a boy as it would turn out, to a single mother.
In fact, one “couple” wanting to adopt daughter’s baby was a homosexual couple. The fellow told me that he and his partner had a wealth of joy, happiness and yes, money, to offer a child. He even offered us money if we would give the child to them. It was rejected right from the start. The man tearfully begging for a chance to raise the child seemed sincere but daughter was choosing a home for her baby and she would never have chosen to put her child in a home with two fathers and no mother. Or, to make my point more forcefully, a home with only one parent, a choice that the movie’s name character, Juno, willingly made.
Obviously my story is nothing like Juno’s. Juno was involved with just one couple and if she’d spoken to other potential adoptive parents it wasn’t indicated in the film. I just know at the time I was faced with it all, daughter only had one month to go before she’d be giving birth. I thought finding adoptive parents would be difficult and again, how are people expected to handle such a very tough task what with having no experience at all? I wonder how Juno’s parents, in the movie it was her father and stepmother while in my daughter’s time it was her stepfather and her mother, or possibly Juno herself, found the adoptive parents because that wasn’t clear either.
Still Juno chose to give her baby to the woman even though the husband was taking a hike. The potential adoptive mother of Juno’s baby was a fine woman, that was made clear in the film. The potential adoptive father was presented as immature, that was also made clear, and the fellow was bailing out on a commitment he had made so it’s not like any great loss there. Again, I’d never have done such a thing and again, not that it was my choice to make.
After daughter watches the movie I’ll ask her if she agrees.
Whatever the case, this is a great movie. Some would say, and so shall I, that it a movie that will likely only appeal to the females in our midst. It’s a movie that has great characters and does a wonderful job of showing the interaction of the characters from Juno’s father, to Juno’s boyfriend, to Juno’s stepmother.
It was heartwarming, not at all maudlin, and it had a happy, believable ending.
I cannot recommend this movie enough.
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