Friday, December 28, 2007

Juno & Teen Pregnency

I remember reading somewhere months ago that Juno will do to teen pregnancy what Pretty Woman did to prostitution.

After watching the movie my pregnant wife & friend Emily sat discussing that idea. If you have seen the movie, I'd love to hear your perspective as well.

Ellen Page is incredibly convincing as the smart lipped teen who ends up going through with her unplanned pregnancy as she maps out her own course making decisions she admits she is not yet mature enough to make.

Is Juno MacGuff's (Ellen Page) life too easy? Does her life wrap up too picture perfect? Does she not face enough real life consequences to go along with her actions?

I'm sure all of these thoughts are debatable, and with piles of anecdotal evidence, I'm sure different people would say Juno's life is too good or not that good depending on different people's life experiences.

The one thing that is true, is that Ellen Page's character is a strong character and someone who is comfortable with following her heart, who goes to the beat of her own drummer, and has a deep consciousness that wants to see the right thing done. To me these are all admirable characteristics.

Without spoiling the unique turns that the movie makes and it's final conclusion, apart from the premarital sex, Juno makes a good teen role model. Argues against me if you wish, but even from the very beginning scenes she is responsible about her problems, she takes the birth control test and begins to independently work through her situation and her options. Something that many teens simply can't do with out bringing their issues and drama into the world of public and peer opinion.

Juno makes no qualms about the truth that she wishes she weren't pregnant, but she also makes few excuses and blames no one but herself. I find her strength, independence, and desire to see her baby in the best situation possible all very honorable.


kaili said...

I think that the movie does a good job of not glorifying teen pregnancy, it showed what a tough time she had as a girl who was already an outcast to begin with, and really illustrated that teen love does have consequences, both good and bad. I also seriously wonder how many teenagers who might be swayed by the alleged glorification of teen pregnancy will be watching this- this is an independent film, with the kind of soundtrack and cast that will attract hipster teens with generally high intelligence/ education and general disdain for babies and diapers. ;) Pretty Woman was a mainstream movie with a much broader distribution.

I've now bought the soundtrack as well, and have been listening to it a lot. We'll see if I'm still listening in a month, but for now it was well worth the $9.99 on itunes.

crackers and cheese said...

In addition to the qualities you mentioned, I also admired her honestly and vulnerability, "I don't know what kind of girl I am." Like you said, she's able to admit that she isn't mature enough to make the decisions. I think most young people tend to think that they are mature, have all the answer, and know who they are, when they're really still figuring everything out.

I don't think this movie glorifies teen pregnancy. I think that it did have a picture perfect ending, but she still faced many difficulties as a result of her decision. It was also interesting that she was the seducer instead of the young man. While this probably isn't completely accurate of most teen sexual activity, it worked very well for the film, reinforcing the fact that this was her decision and therefore her responsibility.

PIPER said...


I think that was me who made the comparison.

I saw the movie and didn't care for it. I never believed any of it because the characters didn't seem like real people. They weren't vested. It was written and acted like commentary from people outside the situation. And whenever there was to be a real moment, Juno killed it with sarcasm.

My bigger problem that I'm struggling with right now is, why am I to condemn Britney Spear's 16 year old sister for getting pregnant, but then shell out 7 bucks to giggle at this 16 year old pregnant girl and somehow feel it's kind of cool that she does her own thing. I know that that argument might be taking it a bit out of context, but I still can't help thinking about it.