Juno is my new movie obsession. I have watched if 4 times, twice in theatre, and own it - and have a dubbed copy of the soundtrack (please don't tell the music/hollywood industry).
Each time I watch, I have new feelings. I catch new funny lines, and yet the issue of teen pregnancy is more highlighted in my mind. Does Juno feel like it was filmed in the 80s to anyone else? Obviously the lingo is mod and it's a 2007 movie, but when I was in high school, I never saw a 9-months pregnant girl. There were a few, even not at my high school, but they disappeared. Where is it that those girls aren't shipped away, or hidden in the back yard trailer? Juno's pregnancy just seems too accepted in the film.
Today I conversed with a friend about the movie, and what we both respect is that all the "right" or best choices were made. Juno keeps the baby, despite her original decision to have an abortion. She decides to give it up for adoption, rejecting the idea of teen mother-hood, knowing full well her own limitations. That's a maturity level few in high school have. Yes, it's just a movie, but this is hollywood too -go with me...
The movie shows that it's "tough" for teenage mothers- from Juno's decision to leave the abortion clinic, to telling her father and stepmom, to being "a planet" at school. She's obviously dealing with things way beyond her maturity level, as she freely admits near the end. But what is this movie's message to young girls?
That it's ok to be pregnant in high school if you give the baby up and don't rat out the guy who knocked you up? Seems a tad harsh, but even I've gotten all teary eyed that Juno finds love and Vanessa's character gets her dream baby, and not thought about the whole "she's 16 and pregnant" thing.
I read today, "The number of teenagers having babies is on ther ise- for the first time in 14 years. The birthrate among girls ages 15 to 19 jumped 3 percent in 2006, according to the CDC. The consequences are grave: Teen parents are less likely to finish school, and their infants are at risk for serious developmental problems" (Redbook Magazine).
So what now? I'm clearly not going to take back the movie. I love it too much and simply adore Bleeker's character. But I certainly hope the young girls watching get the big picture -