Monday, February 18, 2008

My Juno review


I'll start with what I knew before going into the movie. If you are thinking about going to see the movie and would like to know what to expect, feel free to read this part with no major spoiler info.

Juno has won all kinds of awards. It was praised by pretty much all the critics. It is an indy film. Also Boundless.org, a Focus on the Family website, praised it for it's message of love for life and family.

The basis is this 16 year old girl (Juno) gets knocked up by her good friend. She decides to keep the baby and it tells the story of what she went through bringing this baby into the world.

--- Spoiler starts here ---

Juno is a quirky quick witted kid with no indication of a moral direction. For the most part, she has her head on strait and refused to conform to the pressures around her. Her friend, the guy who knocks her up is a kind dork who understands Juno and doesn't try and change her.

She is after all 16 so her first reaction is to get a hasty abortion. As she goes to the clinic, she is met by a classmate who is protesting the killing of helpless babies. She spouts the normal "the baby is alive and has a heart beat" with no effect but at the end says it has fingernails. Kind of a weird thing to say when trying to show the humanity in an unborn child but Juno is kinda weird herself so it works. She is freaked out by the people in the clinic and can't bring herself to terminate the child.

Again, she is 16 so her only other option is to give the baby up for adoption. We meet the couple she chooses and despite being a little off, they seem like the perfect young couple. At this point, you think you know where things are going. Like most of Hollywood movies, you finally find the perfect couple with no flaws and the pains Juno has to put up with are small in comparison to finding a good home for the child. Well, like in real life, it isn't that simple.

The adopted father is a wanabe indy rocker who does commercial jingles for a living. He feels trapped in a Richy Rich life and wants to get out and be free. You know the guy I'm talking about. It's the classic Peter Pan syndrome where the guy has this dream of endless fun and no responsibility. He is so desparate to get out that we find he actually makes himself thing he has feelings for Juno who is half his age.

The adopted mother is so focused on her needs that she forgets she has a husband to love. She gives him one room in the house to store all the things he feels makes up who he is and even that, he has to keep them in boxes. She pushes him away as she grabs for more.

That tension finally comes to head as they decide to split up leaving Juno in a very hard place. She is close to her due date and has no adopted parents lined up. Wow! could things get any worse? Most people do not like watching disaster movies with out a happy ending, myself included. I began to wonder if this movie could be saved but they do it masterfully. Juno realizes that despite all the flaws they both have, the adopted mother would make a great parent and she was willing to go along with it if she was willing.

The adoption goes through and we end with the adopted mother holding the baby by herself. It was a sad ending but one with hope and love. In my experience, situations can change but hope and love for another can last the hardest of trials. It's the most one can ask for in this imperfect world and done right in a movie, it can change the overall effect.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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