Juno is a coming-of-age movie that debuted in 2007. It followed the story of a teenager, Juno, who was also the movie’s eponym, after she got pregnant by Paulie, a friend who had some feelings for her.
The movie highlighted the aspects of teenage pregnancy, the struggles of the pregnant girl during this stage, and how she coped with it. Also, it focused on the theme of parenthood and the parties’ willingness and readiness to enter the said stage. To top it off, the movie also touched on the sensitive topic of abortion which was always up for debate, in this case, in the context of unreadiness to being parents.
The story began with Juno MacGuff’s realization that she was pregnant and that the would-be father was her friend, Paulie Bleeker. Afraid to receive criticism from the people that knew her, she decided to go for an abortion.
Before entering an abortion clinic, she met a schoolmate conducting a solo protest outside it. She was advocating against abortion because it did not give the unborn baby a chance to live. This thought resonated with her, so she decided against abortion but proceeded with adoption instead.
With the help of a friend, Juno found a couple willing to adopt her baby once it was born. She interacted with the couple several times to get acquainted with them and to let them know of the status of their future baby. She developed a strong tie with Mark, the father in the couple, brought upon by a lot of shared interests like in books and music.
Juno’s life seemed to come downhill when she found out that her boyfriend, Paulie, was hitting on another woman. Furthermore, Mark informed him that she would be leaving Vanessa, her partner, because she wasn’t ready to be a father yet. Devastated, she left crying but left a note on Vanessa’s door, asking if she was still willing to proceed with the adoption.
Juno and Paulie eventually reconciled. Soon after, Juno gave birth to a healthy boy, which Vanessa happily claimed. The story ended with the teenage couple living the best life again.
The movie delivered its message well and greatly provided its viewers with an inside perspective on the topics it tried to talk about.
First is teenage pregnancy. The movie portrayed that such an experience isn’t simple and could be shrugged off. It did an excellent job of showing the changes that happen to the expectant mother throughout the whole process. For example, Juno was shown to be experiencing mood swings throughout her pregnancy.
Abortion had also been one of the major topics that the movie tried to ponder upon, and it gave the viewers both sides of the issue, which is a good thing. For those who support it, abortion is something that could save the life of a mother who is not yet ready to bear a child or even to support a child. The film showed that Juno knew this well, but it was also shown that she was neither ready to commit an abortion nor to support a child.
While those are the positive aspects of the movie, I believe that the show did its viewers dirty on two occasions. The first one is when Paulie is caught flirting with another woman. Some people would say that Juno was just overreacting and that her actions were unjustifiable. However, the show wanted to impart the message that when a woman is pregnant, whatever her age is, she is carrying the weight of a human inside her and the weight of the world outside her. And by weight of the world, I mean the thoughts of whether she’d still be loved and accepted even though a lot of changes had already occurred in her body while pregnant. This was also shown when Juno considered terminating the pregnancy to avoid external judgment.
That was shocking, disturbing, yet relevant. However, if there’s one thing I did not like, it’s when Mark, the father in the couple that opted to adopt Juno’s baby, developed feelings for Juno. It was disgusting. It would have been fine if the movie did something more with pedophilia, but there was not much about it. It ended up just being a very uncanny scene.
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