Pro-Life Message But Mixed Morality
Release Date: December 14, 2007
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 97 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures/News Corp.
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Address Comments To:Peter Rice, President
Fox Searchlight Pictures (Fox Atomic)
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Fax: (310) 369-2359
When Juno tells her boyfriend Bleeker, played by Michael Cera, that she is pregnant, the high-school track star looks like he might run the other way. Instead, like a deer caught in headlights, he asks her what she is planning to do. Juno replies that she is going to have an abortion.
At an abortion clinic that does not require parental consent, Juno runs into a fellow high school student picketing the clinic. The young woman pleads with Juno that the baby already has a heartbeat and a brain, but no statistics will change Juno’s mind until the girl tells her that the baby already has fingernails. As Juno ponders her baby’s fingernails, she makes the decision to not go through with the abortion but instead to tell her parents, have the baby and give the child up for adoption.
With some research, Juno finds the perfect adoptive couple for the child, Vanessa and Mark, played by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman, respectively. Her child is an answer to their prayers for a little one. With some unexpected twists and surprises, Juno’s life is forever changed by the little pregnancy that begins as an accident and ends as a blessing.
Artistically, JUNO is a very solid movie. The script is fresh and engaging, the directing is simple and honest, and the performances are dynamic and heartfelt.
Morally, however, JUNO is not as solid. Although there is a strong pro-life message emphasizing the blessing of adoption, the movie contains mixed moral messages. From parents that don’t seem too distraught that their 16-year-old daughter is pregnant to a man leaving his wife so that he can “find himself,” from abortion clinics that do not require any form of parental consent for minors to an abundance of discussions about teenage sexuality, JUNO loses its heart in its worldview problems.
Teenage sexuality and teenage pregnancy are a problem in our hedonistic society where Hollywood promotes lifestyles that glorify immorality and sex without consequence. The filmmakers did, at least, show the consequences of such activities, and for that they should be commended. That said, the movie’s discussions of teenage sexuality as well as its worldview problems and strong foul language at times outweigh its pro-life message, so MOVIEGUIDE® recommends extreme caution.
Artistically, JUNO is a solid movie. The script is fresh and engaging, the directing simple and honest, and the performances dynamic and heartfelt. Morally, however, JUNO is not so solid. Although there is a strong pro-life message stressing the blessing of adoption, the movie contains mixed moral messages. For instance, at the end, a man abandons his wife to pursue his selfish “dreams.” Too often, therefore, the movie’s discussions of teenage sexuality as well as its other problems, including strong foul language, outweigh its pro-life message. Consequently, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends extreme caution.