Juno: A movie on teenage pregnancy
Juno is a critically-acclaimed dark comedy on teenage pregnancy. Juno, the heroine, finds herself pregnant at age 16 (just like Jamie Lynn, yes) and deals with her pregnancy in a ‘cool’ and brave way.
The movie has gotten many nominations from different award-giving bodies (four in the Oscars) and I could understand why because heaven help me, I really enjoyed the movie. I would even go out on a limb here and say it was perfectly cast. Ellen Page (Juno) was just so natural, Juno’s parents were so cool and supportive and Vanessa (played by Jennifer Garner) was so heartbreakingly endearing.
But I won’t go into details lest I spoil it for everyone else.
This much I will say though. The movie again is a good movie to watch: entertaining, enlightening and inspiring. But I cannot help but feel that it failed somehow in getting across the stigma and serious implications of teenage pregnancy. The heroine always came off as cool. She may have done a brave, right thing for her child, but I still worry about what teenagers will take away from the movie. Will they be inspired to abstain? Will they practice safer sex practices instead? Or will they at least practice safe sex? And for those in a similar plight, would they choose to get an abortion, maybe even without a parent knowing? Or would they brave the nine months to give the baby up to adults who actually want to have kids?
See, not all parents will be supportive. Not every teenager who gets pregnant will have supportive friends. Not every teenager know where else to get support and help to come up with decisions they can live with.
But I’d still encourage parents to watch the movie with their kids. What the movie fails to accomplish, the parents can supplement.