Juno | Chicago Reader

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Jason Reitman follows his pitch-perfect satire Thank You for Smoking with another adventurous comedy, though here the cleverness can be grating; the movie's real distinction lies in its complicated emotions. A pregnant 16-year-old (Ellen Page) agrees to give her child away to a prosperous couple (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) but later discovers the impending adoption has become the fault line of their marriage. Screenwriter Diablo Cody saddles her teenage heroine with annoyingly glib dialogue, and Reitman hammers it so hard you almost expect a laugh track. More impressive are the adult characters: Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons are ruefully funny as the girl's practical parents, and as the yearning adoptive mother, Garner proves that even a limited actress can really connect when given the right role. PG-13, 92 min.

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