I chose Juno because I was intrigued by the general concept. A movie centered around a girl getting pregnant during high school doesnt sound like it would be very popular, but most critics and audiences rated it highly. My friends and coworkers had talked about Juno often, but Id never gotten the chance to watch the movie until presented with this assignment. The overall theme of Juno showcases the positive side of feminism. While feminism can commonly be associated with pro-abortion and pro-woman anti-man agendas, Juno centers around a womans right to choose, independence, and equality.
In high school, the pressure to fit in and be liked by peers is at its peak. Being pregnant in a public high school, could be a nightmare for any teenage girl. After getting pregnant, Juno doesnt meltdown or insist the world is ending, like stereotypical pregnant teenagers are consistently portrayed in the media. Instead, she calls her best friend who refers her to a womens clinic for an abortion.
Though Juno makes the appointment and walks into the clinic on her own, she rationally debates both options. If she has an abortion, she can go back to high school with no one besides herself, the babys father, and her best friend knowing she was pregnant. However, Juno chooses, on her own, to keep the baby. She could have chosen to keep the baby and become a teenage mother, but Juno acknowledges her inability to raise the child in her current situation.
Selflessly, she decides to give the child to a family who cannot have a child on their own, without asking for anything in return except that these new parents love her baby well. During the whole ordeal, Juno clearly demonstrates her maturity, her strength, and the importance of choice. This film doesnt take sides for pro-abortion or pro-life, but instead solidifies the idea that a womans body is her own. The choice for an abortion is her own. The choice to walk away from the abortion clinic and keep the baby is her own. The choice to give the baby to another family to adopt, is her own. All of these decisions are Junos right to make. Junos parents let her choose, though they try their best to give her everything she needs for her pregnancy and keep her safe while meeting the adoptive parents.
Throughout the movie, Juno never fails to stay true to herself. The viewer sees her remain true to her fashion sense that will always be outside the norm. Juno keeps her language and witty tongue, always cracks jokes, especially when inappropriate, and remains strong-willed. Shes got a good head on her shoulders and though stereotypes talk about how stupid it is for someone to get pregnant in high school, the author relates it to the character of the people instead of a stupid act. Juno is very intelligent and thinks through all options before deciding on what to do with the baby.
Juno presents the problems a pregnant teenager deals with, including the stereotypes and assumptions others project onto them. While getting her first ultrasound, Juno pretends she isnt nervous and tries to stay unattached by covering her emotion with her typical quips and jokes. The ultrasound technician pries into Junos life until Juno tells her that shes giving the baby away to another couple. Oh thank goodness for that. Immediately, the technician judges Junos life even though shed barely just met her. The technician assumed that the baby must be better off in someone elses hands even though Juno had her mother and best friend, a clear support system right with her. The technician had no idea whether the adoptive parents were good or bad, but she automatically assumed she knew best for Juno and her baby.
The condescending and disgusted looks that Juno receives while walking down the school hallways were bad enough to make me want to hide from the screen. An administration secretary at the high school stared at Junos belly judgmentally while writing her a pass. In contrast, theres no backlash on Michael Ceras character, Paulie. The only mention of Junos baby to Paulie was from another boy on the track team. Did you hear Juno was having a baby? Did you hear it was yours? What a trip man. He then proceeded to run off like it was a normal day. There were no consequences for Paulie, and more importantly no judgment even though he got her pregnant. In theory, both Juno and Paulie have the possibility of becoming parents and should share equal responsibility in the childs well-being but instead most, if not all, of the responsibility lands on Juno.
Jennifer Garners character, Vanessa is the woman who wants to adopt Junos baby. In the beginning, the writers try to showcase Vanessa as overbearing, intense, and neurotic. But as the storyline progresses, subtle hints appear letting the audience know that Vanessa is doing most of the work for her household while Jason Batemans character, Mark, skates by. While Vanessa is at work all day, Mark can be seen playing music, watching movies, and even complains to Juno about how Vanessa wants him to clean up around the house. When Vanessa asks Mark for his input with any problem regarding the baby, he is distant and unhelpful. In our book, we discussed that it is possible for a woman to have a successful career and be a good mother only if her husband is supportive and helps as well. Their marriage showcases this dilemma in a realistic scenario. Vanessa works all day and returns home to fix their house and get ready for the baby. While Mark is highly relatable and his dreams of performing close to my own, hes stuck in the past and unable to look toward the future outside of his own. Instead of contributing to the marriage, Mark chooses to lock himself in his room and play music or watch movies. This leaves Mark to choose either his marriage, or his fantasies of what life should be, and Vanessa to choose her marriage or being a mother.
Subconsciously, Vanessa begins to resent Mark for not wanting a baby as badly as she did. She wanted him to be as excited as she was for a baby and when he couldnt, she blamed him for their lack of a child. However, this just follows the social stereotype that a woman needs a man to have a baby. By the end of the movie, Vanessa proves the stereotype wrong by deciding to adopt the baby and raise him as her own, without the support of Mark. Her dreams always involved having a baby and so she was determined to go achieve it.