Movie Madness Monday: Juno

Juno was one of those movies that seemed to cause such a huge controversy but no one hated it after watching it. Initially, some feel this movie skipped over the intense emotional roller coaster a teen would go through in this situation, saying it was made out to make pregnancy look cool and easy. I’d heard other friends say that they thought it was an honest experience from the point of view of a kid… who made a choice, experience the result, made another choice based on her values and took things step by step very matter-of-factly — without a lot of drama and confusion. They felt it was simply from the perspective of a kid who may or may not fully understand the weight of what is taking place in her life.

I was skeptical and admittedly was one of the worry-warts concerned for how the message of teen pregnancy could come across.

After watching the movie, I remember completely forgetting about my concern because I realized that that wasn’t really what the plot was about. Upon second viewing and discussion, its come back to my attention that that actually IS what the plot is about… teen pregnancy.

I think that the movie did a great job, artistically, with showing how quirky Juno is forced to interact in a world that she’s never experienced before and still keep a positive attitude about the circumstances she’s found herself in.

One of the themes that I loved about the movie was that there was this underlying message about keeping your word with people and being honest. Juno impressed me time and again with her ability to actually consider, mindfully, the situation and make her own decisions, despite what anyone else wanted for her.

Sadly, it appears that the various interpretations of the movie is providing itself as a good scape-goat for recent increase in teen pregnancy. This summer, a Massachusetts school discovered a pact amongst teen girls to become pregnant and raise children together. Is this because of Juno?

My own mother was only fourteen years old when she became pregnant with me. At her age, she wasn’t anywhere near emotionally capable of taking care of an infant child. My grandmother raised me until my mom was able to relate to me. This took nine years before she was really able to come to terms with the decision to have unprotected sex and become pregnant, then she could take responsibility. That’s just one experience, so I’m sure there are plenty of other experiences out there that differ either positively or negatively. What do you ladies think?

Juno had so many great moments in it and the character was delightfully quirky; which makes her relate-able and fun. I’m not sure about how I feel about the secure way that Juno went about her choice to adopt out her child. I think that she’s incredibly brilliant, I’m just not sure that I find it believable and question the possibility of her being a role model. What do you all think? The believability factor would have allowed me to give this movie a gold star. For now I’ll give it a gold and silver star mixed! Mostly because I’m keeping the pink star to wear on my flash t-shirt through the airport today!

So, what are your thoughts about the movie and the message? What do you think about the characters? And after you answer, give yourself a star as well! Stars all around!

Next week, let’s all watch “Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” a.k.a. Amélie.

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18 Responses to “Movie Madness Monday: Juno”

  1. Le Amazing Mari Says:

    Soooo, my thoughts in a nutshell:

    I really liked Juno (and the soundtrack!), but I was slightly disappointed in how quickly she seemed to overcome giving up a baby.

    On a brighter note at least she kept it! I was glad that they showed teen girls they have more options than just abortion.

    All in all I really enjoyed it – even if it didn’t mirror what I’d expect would happen in that situation. After all I watch movies because they’re entertaining, not because they’re always realistic.

  2. Ashley Says:

    Your mom was fourteen when she got preggers with you, Tabby?!
    Wow, what an intense experience at such a young age.
    And about those teens that made a “pact” to get preggers… idk what to think, I’m most certain they didnt know what they were thinking when they made it…thinking it was cool, thinking just because they have babysat the neighbors kids, they are ready to have one of their own… do they know you cant just hand the kid back when he/she starts to cry or needs changing and fed?!
    Anyways, I always thought this movie was ok, and wasnt that special, its “just another take on teen pregnancy”, but did a good job in showing how this character went through it and her itneraction/relationship with those around her while including some humor.

  3. Marilyne Says:

    I really liked this movie for its characters and honesty. As for teen pregnancy awareness or concerns, I’m not sure this one helps the cause but at least, it gives a different and rarely seen view of what it’d be like to be pregnant at such a young age.
    Nice soundtrack, great cast, fresh movie 😀

    *PINK star, nothing less! ;P

  4. Gina Says:

    I pretty much feel the same way about the movie as you do, Tabby. She is an incredibly young and mature girl for age.

    If she had the money, I’m sure she would’ve been able to raise the child. Of course, that doesn’t make it easier. My online friend got pregnant at 16 and I think she had her baby now (she’s 17 now). I have yet to hear from her, but I hope everything went well for her!

    14 must be a tough age… Gosh, I can’t imagine having a child at that age… My parents had me in their mid to late 30s and personally, I would rather have a child in my twenties because honestly, I don’t want to have children when I’m in my 30s because what if I die young and such? I’ve already planned out my future, basically. It doesn’t mean it’s going to go as planned though!!

    Still though, a wonderful movie. I can’t already mention what hasn’t been said.

  5. Denise Says:

    Good post Tabby. Teen pregnancy is everywhere nowadays. When i was in highschool there were at least 5 girls i knew that were having a baby or already had one. And right now actually my friend who is 18… is married and expecting twins in November. Honestly shes to young,immature,and not ready. But the character Juno was,and I liked how she had everything planned and was ready for what was going to happen. Good movie. Can’t wait to watch the next movie 🙂

  6. Jennifer Says:

    Juno was a great movie. I thought they handled the teen pregnancy issue very well,in fact better than I thought they would. I was really glad to see they showed girls they have other options than having an abortion. My cousin was pregnant at 19,I helped raise her son from birth and I was only 14 at the time. I’ve been more of a mother to him then she ever will. She just doesn’t want the resposability of having a kid. My mom’s cousin’s daughter was only 15 when she was pregnant and knew there was no way she could have a baby at 15 and abortion was not an option for her. She found a nice married couple and they adopted her son. She see’s him at times and he’s 10 years old now and knows that she gave him up. It was hard for her to give him up but what was she to do she couldn’t be a mom at 15. With all the young celebrities having babies and making it look so easy to be a teen mom I think it’s great they made a movie like juno and that tv show The Baby Borrowers. Teen pregancy isn’t a joke,it’s not all fun and games it’s hard. If teens are going to have sex protect yourself and face the consequences that might come along with it. Otherwise save yourself until your mature enough to be a responsible parent.

  7. Juliana Says:

    Hi to all! to started, I would like to apologise for not commenting both in the blog! is the week of evidence, and I have to study a little .. lol
    Kristin: I liked much of his hair! I’ll always support you, it’s good we want to change from our hair so radically! and how I wanted to feel the wind knocking on my neck also .. but for now I will leave the long hair! LOL maybe one day, can I not cut too?
    Kendra: I talk to you congratulations on baby! but I say again: CONGRATULATIONS!
    About JUNO: I have never seen, but I have great desire, I will rent and the second is that, here I come! I love you girls!
    kisses from Brazil ♥

  8. Le Amazing Mari Says:

    Ah, maybe now I can try and write my thoughts out better.

    My thing with Juno is that I LOVED the movie, I really did, I just have conflicting thoughts about the message.

    I do think tv shows and movies glorify teen pregnancy (and pregnancy in general, really… some teens are better equipped to be mothers than some grown women to be quite honest). I know that after Gilmore Girls even I wanted a kid at 16… however, I don’t think teen pregnancies can be blamed on movies only. I do think if they focused on the “side effects” of being pregnant – what it does to you, and your body during those 9 months – girls would think twice before doing it.

    Having said that – accidents do happen, so unless you’re ready to face the consequences and deal with giving birth to a child, I would wait to do anything.

    On to lighter topics… who else loved the soundtrack and the way Juno talked?! The movie had so many great one liners, and I think Ellen Page is amazing. Actually, the whole cast is amazing. ❤

  9. Binks Says:

    Juno. A fantastic little film that showcases aspects of both pro-choice and pro-life decisions. Fantastic screenplay by Diablo Cody, which I am very glad she won an Oscar for. (Your eggo is preggo!) muahaha! It was fresh and fun, yet undeniably smart. Although I’m a bit sad Ellen Page didn’t win an Oscar (cause daaaaaaaaang that girl deserves one) I was rooting for Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose, which she totally got. 😀 (her performance was incredible, to say the least….but anyways, that’s beside the point :P)
    I thought the movie had multiple messages, do what you think is right, stay true to yourself, take responsibility for your actions, etc. Do I think it’s completely believable? No. Do I think it showcases many valuable and truthful portrayals? Yes.

    That teen pregnancy pact was totally bogus. Teens these days will have any excuse to do what they want. What about the group of girls who played horrendous pranks because of what they saw in Mean Girls? And those who started dressing like the girls from Sugar and Spice? What of the girls who thought it was cool to film them beating another girl to a pulp and place it on youtube? These films are made as a form of entertainment, with an underlying message in most of them. People take the fun and quirky content to extremes because they think it’s “cool” or is a “genius” idea. It’s like they don’t have a mind of their own anymore. The problem with most of these pacts are that they are not only affecting themselves but people around them. (Especially the ones who wanted all to get preggers while being teens, they are playing with the lives of their children.)

    Juno is fun and maybe even inspirational. The cast was amazing and the writing was pure genius. (and c’mon who wasn’t singing along with the music?) I also found out that pieces of it was filmed in Eric Hamber High School. hmmmm….why does that sound familiar? *scratches head* O_O

    Amelie…haha…this is going to be interesting…

  10. Blank Says:

    Its a nice flick, with nice interpretations by the actors, mainly the one made by Ellen Page. Quite entertaining film, dealing with a serious and interesting issue.

  11. Maxima Says:

    Honestly…….I really…….really……really….
    liked this movie a whole lot!
    She was perfect for the role.
    A warm hug to everyone at GBD.
    Ciao.

  12. prad robert Says:

    Hi’ , I’m totally agree with Le Amazing Mari , I liked the sound track , the movie (I’ve very liked “thank you for smoking” too by the same director ) but I have some doubts about the aim or how young girls can understand/feel that .
    As a boy , I can point out the fact that It’s seems a few idealized or “cliché”, the simple , nice and clumsy guy ( a few like in the Smallville first season) who reaches to seduce an original and futhermore beautiful woman ,It’s a shy boy fantasy.
    the guy ex-rock star who can’t assume seems “cliché” like the father ect …

    According to “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” , as a french , first I advise you to watch the movie in french with subtitles for the mood which is the principal importance of the movie .
    And I want to say something very important for me, some months ago “New York Times ” published in front page “The Death of French Culture” , you can’t imagine how it can enervate me .
    So that , on a certain extent ” Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” annoys me , like “Les Choristes ” or ” La Mome (Edith Piaf)” .
    In America , the only movies which can be a sucess are movies which conveys a wrong , old image of France .
    Montmarte is definitively not like where Amelie Poulain lives , and France has evolved since the fifties .
    the french culture is not death , but nobody have the fewest , poorer interest for our culture actually and always broadcast the same old fashioned thing .
    Can you imagine french cinema only broadcast neo-western and peplum , Its enough frustating .

    So , this movies are good nostalgia (I also like nostalgia but not too much , especially with the fifties which aren’t glorious times for France ( Petain then Indochine , Algerie’s war etc …) moments but are also H bomb .

  13. gabby Says:

    This movie had a great impact on me, and this is why;

    I’m a 17 year old girl from Brazil but I live in the US. When I came home this summer, like I do every summer, and found out that three acquaintences of my(teenagers, some even younger than me) had had children and all of them kept the baby. So after my friends and I watched Juno, we thought, what if it was us?? We began to wonder if we would give it away, like Juno, keep it or abort it. We never really came to a conclusion, the only thing we all agreed on was that no matter what, we wouldn’t abort it.
    What I learned from this was that, we never really know unless it happens to us. And that we can’t judge peoples decisions until we know what it is they are going through.

  14. movieluver Says:

    prad robert, what about “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (“Le Scaphandre et le papillon”)? It did pretty well in America, and it doesn’t seem like it had that old French image you mentioned.

    As for Juno…..After I saw it, I remember thinking that it was a very clever, nicely done movie. But I will have to agree with you and Tabby about the credibility factor. I also found that with the relationships in the movie. I didn’t see how the Jason Bateman character could have been with the Jennifer Garner character in the first place. She was so uptight and stiff and he seemed much more relaxed and normal. I saw “Juno” after seeing “The Devil Knows Your Dead”, so I even thought maybe they were a staged criminal couple trying to get a hold of babies to sell on the baby market (Ok, that’s a little too far fetched). And the whole idea that Juno was the one who prodded her boyfriend into it and not the other way around didn’t seem so realistic to me either.
    But overall I think this is still a very good film. You can also see why Ellen Page is such a good actress. She’s given a situation that is not so credible but she turns it into something that might be a little more so.

    great movie choice!

  15. Hoover Monkeys Says:

    Juno is one of the best movie i ever saw! i just love how the story goes coz it relates to real life situations like how to deal when things aren’t going like it supposed to. We could all learn from Juno’s experience and i hope teens now would take a lesson from the movie too… peace!

  16. Ashley Says:

    I agree that the movie seemed to show that teen pregnancy was cool…or at least what I thought. But it did definitely show how responsible she was to give it a better home with someone else who wanted kids. I really enjoyed the movie. And can’t wait for the next.

  17. Sarah Says:

    I loved Juno, it is so quirky, funny, and just plain entertaining. But it doesnt really seem to capture true teen pregnancy. Juno just glides through it all, with just a little bit of angst, but maybe that was because she had such a great support system. Anyways, after having one of my friends have a baby, I can admire and respect both directions one could take – giving your baby to a couple who cant have their own (juno) and keeping your baby and raising your own little baby (my friend) either way, you learn and test yourself. wow off topic a bit, but Juno was good haha.

  18. Prad Robert Says:

    Hi’ movieluver , It’s a wonderful movie (and book) I’ve read the book rather long time ago , It’s funny you speak about that because I’m reading again the book

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