“You’re like the coolest person I’ve ever met,” Ellen Page says to a knobbly knee’d Michael Cera at the climax of Juno. “And you don’t even have to try, you know.”
“I try really hard, actually.”

Juno was Fox Searchlight’s sleeper hit of 2007, grossing over $85 million in the US (after a modest budget of only $7.5 million). It comes out in the UK on February 8th and I was there at its VIP screening at the Soho Hotel in London last week.

Beauty and the Geeks Why am I dressed like a dork?

(If you’re reading this through my RSS feed, you might not get the accompanying picture. In any case, it’s probably a sensible question to ask – and on most occasions.)

My housemate Bill and I were there to help out a friend, whose event management company was putting on the screening. She needed a couple of geeks to dress up as characters from the film, greet guests and pose for pictures.

“You’re like the geekiest guy I know,” she said. “You don’t even have to try.” She was right. I couldn’t claim, like Michael Cera’s character in Juno, that the accolade was the result of any sort of effort. So, of course, I agreed to do it.

Not knowing much about the film however, I was somewhat unprepared for my costume: a sports vest and shorts, pull-up socks, a wrist and headband. Nevertheless, I left my shame with my trousers, in the cloak room, while Bill joked that stripping down to a pair shorts for £50 might be construed as the behaviour of a couple of “smack heads.” We emerged from our dressing room all the same, regretfully sober and ready to face a room full of celebrities.

I joked with British soul singer, Beverley Knight, formed one point of a hip-hop love triangle with So Solid Crew’s Lisa Mafia, even went for a post-screening drink with star of zombie film, 28 Weeks Later (and new best friend), Imogen Poots.

But the real star of the night – it’s not difficult to say – was the movie itself. A sophomore effort from Thank You for Smoking director, Jason Reitman, Juno is a smart, funny and charming teen comedy, with real affection and wit. Go see it when it comes out here on February 8th (or catch it while you still can, if it’s already showing in your country).

It’s got an awesome soundtrack (that I reckon will do for The Mouldy Peaches what Garden State did for The Shins); it moves the plot along without being intrusive (take note, Sondre Lerche). And at one point, at the end of the movie, it sort of becomes the plot.

I won’t ruin the ending for you. But when the film had finished, and we changed back into our own clothes, Bill joked that it felt good to be ‘cool’ again. As he did, I caught myself in the changing room mirror, one hand pushing my glasses up the bridge of my nose, the other, buttoning the cardigan that snuggled under my second-hand blazer. I thought to myself that however hard I try, I’ll never quite be cool. But that was okay.

In the film, Michael Cera’s character got the girl. And there I was at the end of an awesome party, having met some pretty interesting people, £50 better off and about to go for a drink with a movie star? I suppose that is pretty cool.

Catch Juno in the UK on February 8th; find out more on the link below.