Socialist Worker

Juno: a pregnancy dilemma that’s too easy to solve

The new film Juno, about a pregnant teenager in the US, may be winning plaudits but it doesn’t quite feel like real life to Wonu Allison

Issue No. 2087

Juno discusses her choices with her friends (Pic: © 2007 Twentieth Century Fox)

Juno discusses her choices with her friends (Pic: © 2007 Twentieth Century Fox)


Juno is a 16 year old who falls pregnant after deciding to lose her virginity. She is then faced with the choice of keeping the baby, having an abortion or giving it up for adoption.

This should be a film that shows the difficulties of young girls who suddenly find themselves facing hard life choices.

Many young girls in similar situations would be dumped on the streets by their families. But not Juno (played by Ellen Page).

Instead all her friends help her, and her parents are accepting. Juno’s dad and stepmum don’t shout at her or throw her out.

This means that the film doesn’t really say anything about the lives of girls who don’t have this kind of support.

Juno doesn’t have to think where she will get money from, or how she will cope without the father.

She drives around in her car. Her parents are middle class. When she gets pregnant she has lots of choices, but it isn’t always like that in real life.

Then there’s the father-to-be, Bleeker (played by Michael Cera).

He doesn’t walk away and do the dirty on her. Instead, he helps her and in the end they fall in love. So there’s no conflict there.

Accepting

It is a good thing if families and boyfriends are accepting of young girls who get pregnant – and the film does a good job of suggesting that this is how it should be.

However as this is a teen movie I hoped that the film would speak to me about the pressures I might have faced. But these pressures just don’t come up in this film.

Juno thinks about having an abortion but she changes her mind after seeing an anti-abortion protest when she visits a clinic.

One of the protesters tells her “all babies want to get born”, and her baby “already has fingernails”.

Without the pressure of being a poor single mum with no support, Juno can more easily consider keeping the baby.

If the film had been set in Britain I think it would get down to the nitty gritty. It wouldn’t be a 12a.

In real life there would be many more challenges and different attitudes towards teenage pregnancies.

Because Juno doesn’t have to make tough decisions, there is no drama and little tension.

But the film is cute and funny – and that lifts the ratings.

Support

If the message of the film is that you support the girl who falls pregnant then it is a good message.

But I would have liked to it to be more realistic.

I think that would make the film more challenging and better.

Wonu Allison is a student in Hackney, east London


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

Reviews
Tue 5 Feb 2008, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2087
Share this article


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.