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Friday, July 17, 2009

Movie Review: Juno

It's a good movie, surprisingly positive and refreshingly honest. Juno is 16 and gets pregnant without being promiscuous. Yes, it happens. She initially sought abortion, which is probably a typical first consideration in first world countries today, but she gets a good dose of doubts about the rightness of this option. She decides to have the baby and put him up for adoption. Much of the movie is also about the couple that she chooses to adopt the baby. But it isn't that simple either, the couple not being perfect after all. I also liked the way her father and stepmother react to her news. They are supportive, which I think is always good. It bothered me that the stepmother seemed ambivalent concerning abortion, but I'm glad that neither she nor Juno's father pushed for abortion. The movie is realistic in one sense: teenagers in high school can't handle the responsibility just yet. The implications of this will hopefully penetrate most viewers. I found one scene to be rather profound: the first time when Juno wept, and perhaps was at her lowest point about her dilemma, was when she found out about problems between the couple who were adopting the baby later. This reveals the heart of the issue: what happens to the baby? The tears were not about Juno's predicament; they were about the baby's future.

DecentFilms has got a must-read review, but my two cents is that it is a good movie with good insights. I accept the reality that many young girls find themselves in this situation, much of which is avoidable if they had the time and training to think about the consequences of jumping into situations that they are not prepared for. But when a Juno finds herself in such a pickle, there can only be one response from the people around her: support. Should abortion be considered? Of course. And with calm and deliberate reasoning be summarily discarded as the wrong and worst possible option.