Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I do love a little controversy.

When my housemate, Rachel, came home from her Bible study reporting that the women had been ripping on the movie Juno for what it teaches our young girls about teenage sex and purity, and further reported that none of the women had seen the movie, it was decided that she and I should go see it. So we did.

The basic idea is this: a sixteen year old girl named Juno and her male best friend decide they would like to try sex, so they do. She finds herself pregnant and opts for an abortion, a no-brainer in her world. But as she approaches the clinic, she meets a friend from school holding a pro-life poster outside. The two make awkward small talk about papers they need to write for school, then the friend gently makes Juno aware of the stages of development and where her baby fits in right then. Juno tries to brush the information off and continue with her plans, but can't. She leaves the clinic with the conviction that she doesn't want to kill her baby, but is unsure of what she does want.

After much discussion with her parents, her best friend and the baby's father, she seeks out a stable couple who seem like they would provide a wonderful life for her child, and arranges an adoption.

Her pregnancy progresses as the school year goes on and she faces a fair amount of social rejection for her choice to carry the baby. The social discomfort, physical discomfort, and emotional discomfort all go hand in hand, as she moves toward the delivery date.

Juno has her baby and follows through on her promise to give it up for adoption, though we can see by a tearful scene in the hospital that it is a heart-wrenching process.

So, today's teen girls are given a bright, deep-thinking girl who bucks the social norms, faces the peer pressure and decides to do the most morally responsible thing when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. What was it that had the Bible study ladies up in arms? Oh, there was quite a bit of bad language, enough that I probably wouldn't recommend the movie to my conservative friends. But does that discredit the whole movie?

I don't know; I liked it and I would love to have a teen girl discussion group based on it.


alison said...

The way I described Juno to a friend, was that it is "self-satisfied" I really expected to like it, but it was just so stinking aware of itself, "Look at me! I'm so smart! Funny! Hip! Are you looking! I really don't want you to look at me (see above for the reason) Are you looking at me?!"

I did think Jennifer Garner and Jason Batemen were spot on in the room painting scene.

Mister Ed T said...

I'm sure your Bible study friends objected to the idea of pre-marital sex. So often today's morality is don't get caught (i.e. "don't get pregnant."). But I'm glad to hear that the movie shows the reality of choosign to accept an unwanted pregnancy.
In a perfect world we would always make the right choices. But once we face the consequences of a previous wrong choice there are tought choices that we never thought we'd face. At whatever point we decide to do the right thing there is always a right choice we can make.
So much for ethics. I have not seen the movie and have no plans to see it soon, mayde on DVD.

Scott Lyons said...

I've heard a lot of good things about Juno and have it queued up for whenever it is released onto DVD.