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Monday, April 28, 2008

Juno

You know, I’m not really a big proponent for teenage pregnancy. I don’t know anyone who really thinks it’s “cool” or desirable. I have to say, however, that I did like the movie, Juno.

First off, the title character, Juno MacGuff, is honestly just a funny girl. She’s in a sucky situation, and she knows it…but she kind of carries herself through it with a good attitude, and makes the right choice (in my opinion) when she decides to go through with the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption.

Juno is very concerned that her child is given to the “right” home…no weird or lame couple will do. She finds the “perfect couple” in Vanessa and Mark, who seem to be happily married and normal, as well as successful. Vanessa feels like she was born to be a mother, and welcomes Juno into their lives. Juno seems to bond initially more with Mark, who has a lot in common with her. However, after seeing Vanessa’s interaction with a child at the mall, Juno is clearly convinced that she has found the right mother for her baby.

The movie basically follows Juno’s entire “journey” over the next nine months. We see how she finds out that she’s pregnant, how she tells her family and friends, and how she bonds with the Lorings. We see how she deals with ridicule at school, but always holds her head high and has a quick one liner for every situation. Things don’t always go the way that she plans them, but she rolls with the punches and does the best she can with the hand she’s dealt herself.

Juno’s character is certainly what sells the movie for me, but I also am impressed with her support system. She’s got friends who continually stand by her, (including her best friend, Bleeker, who is also the father of the baby), and her family is very supportive. Although they definitely don’t like the situation, (I love the scene when Juno tells her dad and step-mom that she’s pregnant, and they lament that it hadn’t been something easier to take, like hard drug use or a DWI) they are there with her every step of the way. Her dad still sees her as his little girl, and wants to take care of her, while her step-mother, Brenda, though “tough” on the outside, clearly wants to protect her as well. This is obvious in one scene where an ultrasound technician expresses relief that Juno is giving the child up for adoption, because a teenager is obviously not fit to care for a child. Whether or not Brenda agrees with the notion that a child would be better off in a home with two (adult) parents, she sticks up for Juno, saying, of the adoptive parents, “They could be utterly negligent. Maybe they'll do a far shittier job of raising a kid than my dumbass step-daughter would. Have you considered that?”

Overall, the movie just made me smile, due mostly to the likeable (though sometimes awkward) characters. I am all for any movie that shows that good things can come from bad situations. Juno learns things about herself, builds a stronger relationship with her family, and realizes the importance of her true friends. And, when Vanessa is seen holding her child for the first time, I got a warm feeling that you generally wouldn’t associate with something as “ugly” as unplanned teenage pregnancy. Nobody likes clouds, but all of them potentially have silver linings…we just have to find them.

1 comments:

Patrick Roberts said...

i assumed Juno was directed by the same guy that directed Knocked Up because it's about an unexpected pregnancy, and Michael Cera stars as Juno's boyfriend (he was one of the goofy kids from Superbad, a close relative of Knocked Up), but it turns out this is not the case... all in all the movie had in interesting/unique style