| Juno (2007) |
This film, directed by Jason Reitman, deals with the issue of teenage pregnancy while retaining an atmosphere of humour and euphoria most of the time. After seeing Juno I found a lot of conflict in deciding whether this film was male-positive or just more feminist Hollywood trash. I am sure that others can decide right away but here is my take on this:
It is easy to judge Juno herself as a typical "liberated" teenage skank - a prime example of the result of the wave of feminism that taught women to screw any guy they want any time they want at the expense of their dignity but she was actually quite likeable. After all, its not surprising she is like that in today's society but odd considering she has a strong father figure. Moreover the woman who plays Juno, Ellen Page is a rather stroppy feminist herself judging from her interviews and her portrayal of a ball-busting paedophile catcher in that wretched film Hard Candy. Be that as it may, she clearly doesn't hate men in this movie.
After having sex with her nerdy and meek boyfriend (yes she initiates) she winds up pregnant and he tells her to do whatever she thinks is best. So the whole question of whether the man has a choice is bypassed right away. Also, even though she decides she will not keep the child even though she isn't having an abortion it is never called into question what could happen to the boyfriend if she decided to keep it i.e. 21 years child support.
The bit that will annoy men a lot is the rich married couple that Juno entrusts to take her baby when she gives birth. On the surface it portrays the man eventually as a self-obsessed music freak who does not want the baby in the end and instead wants his freedom after making a move on Juno - classic male cold feet and immaturity. However, it was almost like a hidden message to men because it subtly implied that there is no benefit for men at all in marriage.
His wife (Jennifer Garner, ewww) is a total control freak who could care less about him and only wants the baby and doesn't let him make any decisions and in the end they divorce. How he affords a flat at all is amazing. She gets the baby in the end and just where is the money going to come from to support that high class lifestyle? It could easily be seen as a warning to men who can have their whole lives torn up by being in such a situation.
On the plus side, I loved the totally unrealistic notion that a Canadian female can actually choose a boy based on his sensitivity, warmth and personality rather than the alpha male 'jock' whom girls typically want. I also liked how it was her father (a change how they showed the mother as a deadbeat who moved away when Juno was a child), who told her it was the people who accepted you for who you were that were worth sticking with. She even fills his postbox with his favourite sweet to apologise for treating him badly when he confessed his feelings for her.
He himself was portrayed as a nice guy who wins despite the odd male stereotype uttered by Juno's friend which he proved wrong.
All in all a fair movie with a very good soundtrack even though it does not address the real issues involving pregnancy and 'choice' and abortion etc.
- Reviewed by Mr. Doesn'tgiveadamn
Rated: PG13 in USA, 12A in UK and 14A in Canada due to sexuality and unpleasant scenes.
Duration: 1 hour and 36 minutes