I only really started to settle into Juno about halfway-in when the 'cleverness' of the dialogue subsided enough for me to properly appreciate the interaction of the characters. Perhaps this was just me becoming accustomed to Ellen Page's (and the script's) styling because by the end I had genuinely warmed to her character. It's hard to relate her to an everyday reality because she is supposed to be a unique teenager but certainly her dramatic scenes strip away the unnaturally cooler-than-thou vernacular and make Juno a much more interesting character than you'd expect.
This is exactly how I felt about the movie.
That first half was a killer. I kept thinking, "The script must look great on paper but in execution, it's just too overbearing." Everyone keeps bringing up the "honest to blog" line, which must have been cute as hell when reading it but when delivered (and in particular when delivered in unison by the girl sitting in the row behind me - who must either own a screener, have full memory recall, or have seen the movie at least 10 times by now - proceeded to recite lines here and there throughout the entire movie... oh, yes, folks, there is a Juno cult out there), it's eye-rolling. It's trapped somewhere between Clueless and the first day of a freshman film class where everyone is trying to think of the most obscure film they can tell everyone is their favorite.
But the second half is about as good as Ebert and company think it is, though the movie could have done with more Garner, and especially more JK Simmons and Alison Janney. Each of them had one spectacular scene and that was it. I know the movie is called Juno but I wanted more. SPOILERSFor example, we're never given much of a reason to side with Garner except that we discover, with Juno, that Bateman is a douchebag.END SPOILERS
I remember describing Little Miss Sunshine as "indie casserole" when defending my disappointment that it won Best Original Screenplay. Juno sits better with me that LMS did and I don't begrudge anyone who really likes it but it's just too indie-cutesy (much like its soundtrack) for my tastes.