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"Juno", about Teen Pregnancy
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.