"Pro-Life Message But Mixed Morality"
What You Need To Know:
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.
(PaPa, Ro, BB, Ab, C, FR, Ho, LLL, SS, N, A, M) Mostly mixed strong pagan worldview with elements of Romanticism as love is seen as the ideal human experience along with some strong moral tones, including a pro-life message as pregnant teenager decides to have baby and give it up for adoption rather than have abortion, but also with some anti-biblical, immoral elements as man leaves his wife to pursue his “dreams,” some Christian references such as a baby being a “blessing from Jesus” and references to answered prayer, God, the miracle of childbirth, Moses and the Old Testament, plus two quick false religious references as girl has a Buddha light-switch and her name is from the Greek goddess who was the wife of Zeus, and one homosexual mention of “lezbos”; 25 obscenities, nine light profanities (Oh my God), and one obscene gesture; no violence; sexual content includes implied teenage fornication, a lot of dialogue and discussions of sex amongst “sexually-active” teenagers, public school teacher depicted putting condom on banana, girl enters abortion clinic (although it is not glorified and the girl leaves), secretary in abortion clinic tries to give teenage girl a boysenberry-flavored condom, teenagers kiss, and teenage girl giving birth depicted; upper male nudity of teenage boy and teenage girl’s legs shown as she takes off her underwear and pregnant teenager’s belly seen in medical exam; no alcohol use depicted but several discussions of underage drinking; no drug use depicted but parents wonder if daughter is taking hard drugs before she tells them she is pregnant; and, man abandons wife.
JUNO is the story of an offbeat, 16-year-old girl, played by Ellen Page, who must deal with the consequences of her unplanned teenage pregnancy.
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.