In addition to the occasional day-old bagels in the breakroom, one of the best fringe benefits that come with being part of the MTV Movies Team is getting to see tomorrow’s big hits super-early, and “Juno” already has our pick for one of the best flicks of 2007, even though it doesn’t come out until December 5th.
Now, you can play along at home. Watch this hilarious exchange between Michael Cera and Ellen Page, and then pretend that there are a hundred other scenes surrounding it on either side.
“This is the scene when Bleeker and Juno are in the high school hallway,” explained “Thank You for Smoking” director Jason Reitman, giving us a clip from his follow-up flick. “It’s a wonderful example of how Michael Cera does improv. Most actors, when you ask them to improv, they start adding lines in. Here, we see that Michael Cera has a unique ability to actually shorten lines when he improvs.”
The scene comes at a pivotal time in the flick, when the very-pregnant Juno (Page) confronts her amazingly fertile kinda-boyfriend Bleeker (Cera) after learning that he’s taking another girl to the prom. Mixing in Page’s straight-faced sarcasm, Cera’s improv and debut writer Diablo Cody’s pop-culture-savvy dialogue, the three make for a potent combination.
“Juno says something like ’Your girlfriend is giving me the stink-eye’, and the follow-up line as-written was: ‘Well, yeah, but that’s just what she looks like’,” Reitman remembered. “But Michael Cera had the genius to say ‘No, that’s just her face’. That’s hilarious.”
Remembering the scene’s visual payoff, Reitman eased our minds with the revelation that there isn’t really an actress out there with that permanent expression stuck on her face. “We found a girl who was able to do the stink-eye,” he laughed. “But yeah, that was an interesting casting need.”