"Juno", about Teen Pregnancy

Movie Review

Being a product of the 20th Century and having lived through the 1960's, 70's, 80's and 90's, the movie Juno about teenage pregnancy came as a complete shock; mostly because this film portrays the topic of teenage pregnancy in a comedic and positive fashion. Juno makes it an "okay" type of thing where no one in the movie has a problem with Juno, a teenager attending High School, becoming knocked up by her boyfriend. Even the High School allows Juno to attend the full nine months of pregnancy. Never expected throughout my lifetime to view anything like this movie!

To continue the shock value that I experienced, Juno is rated PG-13 which means minors 13 years of age and older may watch this. What does this say about the 21st Century society? That teenage pregnancy is acceptable and society should be supportive, help them through it? That being a teenager and pregnant is the fad thing to do? These seem to be the messages of this film.

Juno even received in 2008 an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay; completely unbelievable! Am I the only one against teenage pregnancy being glamorized in a film, shown as acceptable for teens? No, I definitely am not. The parents I know with teenagers would not approve of their teens acting like the character Juno. Most parents want the best for their minors, have them wait until they are a fully functioning adult thereby more mature to handle something as life changing as bringing another human into the world.

Juno further portrays how the teenager becomes a surrogate mother. The character's best friend Leah helps Juno find the perfect affluent yuppie couple who want a baby in the Penny Saver. (Give me a break! Unbelievable!) Together Juno and Leah inform Juno's parents who take the fact that their daughter is pregnant very calmly and supportive. The complete opposite of any parents I know, including myself (I am a mother and grandmother), would have reacted. They did not seem the slightest bit taken aback by Juno's news. Her father even supportively takes Juno to visit the couple she found in the Penny Saver, acting as if this sort of thing happens all the time with teenage girls. Amazing!

Juno released in 2007 was listed as a "comedy" for genre. I did not laugh or smile throughout the entire movie. I stared at the screen horrified viewing the hip acceptable method of teenage pregnancy. This film showed how a teenager does not have to be responsible; can simply become pregnant and give the baby away to someone else thereby eliminating the responsibility factor. Unbelievable!

I could not believe someone would actually write this particular script for the movie Juno . It made the issue of teenage pregnancy seem easy and uncomplicated. Incredible! Being married and becoming pregnant is very complicated. Being a single adult woman and suddenly finding one pregnant is extremely complicated. What made the director and scriptwriters think teen pregnancy would be less complicated and portray it in a film that way? Absolutely unrealistic!

The cast mix and acting was superb. The technical and detail aspects of the movie were well done. The cast included: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Olivia Thirlby, Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons. These actors were simply doing as Director Jason Reitman and the script instructed. I did not find fault with their performances.

Juno is available on DVD. The movie is 1 hour 32 minutes in length. I do not recommend this film for anyone under 18 years of age; gives the wrong messages to any minor.

2 stars for Juno

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Comments 10 comments

Rose West profile image

Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

I agree with you that teenage pregnancy out of wedlock is no laughing matter. Thank you for speaking out on this subject!


aliciaharrell profile image

aliciaharrell 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thank you for your positive feedback and reading my article!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I found out about Juno when I heard an interview with the writer, Diablo Cody, on National Public Radio. At the same time, my daughter called and invited me to go with her to see the movie.

We laughed, we cried, and I felt like I had dropped 30 years right on the spot by looking through this window of youth and change. Why wasn't there this openness when I was growing up? Why were girls (never boys) punished to the point of being sent to homes for unwed mothers, expelled from high school, and generally ostracized from their communities?

I saw this movie as an example of how good, rather than bad, can come out of an unwanted teen pregnancy. This young girl, Juno, matured a lifetime's worth in the span of her pregnancy and delivery. She had tough decisions to make and she faced them head-on. With the caring and support of her family and community, she could go on to fulfill her life's dreams, an unwanted baby would have a loving home, and a couple who desperately wanted a child would have that child. What I saw was win-win all around. So different from when we were growing up.

There will always be unwanted teen pregnancies. That's the way we humans are designed, and no abstinence program or birth control regimen is going to change that. For me, the film answered the question: How do you make lemonade when someone hands you a lemon?

On the other hand, this is a comedy and also a fantasy, a make believe scenario born of wishful thinking. I can hardly imagine a real-life step-mother, father, daughter, and boyfriend with the creativity, understanding, determination, and calmness of purpose of this bunch.


aliciaharrell profile image

aliciaharrell 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Your comment was inspirational Sally. I'm glad my hub is allowing us to share our thoughts on this type of subject. I agree that the scenario this movie delivers is "wishful thinking" instead of a dose of reality. My main concern was how pre-teens and teenagaers would regard how the subject matter was presented in this movie. Again, thank you for your comment. All feedback is appreciated :)


htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Thanks for the post


aliciaharrell profile image

aliciaharrell 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thank you for reading the hub and the thoughtful feedback. Glad you enjoyed it. :)


Lyssa  5 years ago

Yea and then there are some high school's and such that play this movie in there parenting classes


aliciaharrell profile image

aliciaharrell 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Lyssa, your comment contains something all parents should be made aware. As a grandmother and mother, I am appalled that any High School would allow a viewing of the movie “Juno” in their parenting classes. It does not truthfully portray the real-life hardships and negative aspects of teenage pregnancy. Becoming and being a parent is the most difficult and most rewarding life experience a person can have in their preferably married (easier with a spouse) adult life.


anonymous 4 years ago

I think it's a bit harsh to say no minors under 18 should see this- teenagers aren't exactly dumb or confused as to teen pregnancy being cool. A well raised teen knows what's inappropriate and what's not. Otherwise, great review.


aliciaharrell profile image

aliciaharrell 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thank you for your insight. I do not expect everyone to think identically, agree with me. My view comes from being a parent, grandparent and substitute school teacher K-12 grades. It might seem harsh, but it is fair and firm. :) Word of writing advice: people are reared, animals and plants are raised. Check your dictionary, you will find this author correct about these two words.

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