Juno. You have to see it. You'll love it.
That's all we kept hearing since we started this journey. Juno this and Juno that. It was even nominated for best picture at the Oscars (won best screenplay; also nominated for best actress Ellen Paige). Because it's late, I'll plagiarize from the fine people over at IMDB and let them summarize the plot for you:
Sixteen year-old Juno MacGuff is the type of girl that beats to her own drummer, and doesn't really care what others may think of her. She learns that she's pregnant from a one-time sexual encounter with her best friend, Paulie Bleeker. Juno and Paulie like each other, but don't consider themselves to be exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend let alone be ready to be a family complete with child. Although she would rather not be pregnant, Juno is fairly pragmatic about her situation. Although there, Paulie really leaves all the decisions about the baby to Juno. Initially she decides that she will have an abortion, but that's something that she ultimately cannot go through with. So she decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption. But first she has to tell her father, Mac, and stepmother, Bren, that she is pregnant. Although they would have preferred if Juno was on hard drugs or expelled from school, Mac and Bren too are pragmatic about Juno's situation. The next step is to find prospective parents for the yet unborn child. In the Pennysaver ad section, Juno finds Mark and Vanessa Loring, a yuppie couple living in the suburbs. Juno likes the Lorings, and in some respects has found who looks to be a kindred spirit in Mark, with whom she shares a love of grunge music and horror films. Vanessa is a little more uptight and is the one in the relationship seemingly most eager to have a baby. On her own choosing, Juno enters into a closed rather than open adoption contract with the Lorings - meaning she will have no contact with the baby after she gives it up. During the second and third trimesters of Juno's pregnancy which she treats with care but detachment, Juno's relationships with her family, with Paulie, and with the Lorings develop, the latter whose on the surface perfect life masks some hidden problems.
OK let me first say, whenever there is mondo buzz over a film and everyone keeps telling me I have to see it, I intentionally start avoiding it. I hate doing something because everyone else is doing it. Like watching American Idol, or kissing girls. I actually have it as a point of honor that to this day I have never seen that other movie, the one about the retard. I can't think of the name right now. The "Life is like a box of chocolates" guy. But you're saying, you have to see that one. Um, no I don't. At the weekend intensive, all the other couples had seen Juno and were singing its praises. They even kept saying Ty (the birthmother...see Weekend Intensive, Part Two) was so very Juno MacGuff. In the film, Juno is a very cool girl. She's the ultimate hipster. Into music that is at once cool and obscure. She has a taste for 70's camp horror and an intimate knowledge of its European directors. She is mature beyond her years. She's one of those high school girls that is so secure with her own hipness that she's above criticism. She doesn't care what anyone thinks about her situation. In other words, complete unrealistic fantasy.
Juno is not doing drugs or alcohol. She's funny. She's cool. Her parents aren't abusive. In fact, they give nothing at all to the discussion of adoption. She doesn't seek their advice. They're mostly absent from any real decision making. In other words, the movie is totally divorced from reality. I have no clue what type of birthmother(s) may eventually contact us, but I have a feeling it isn't going to be Juno. Oh yeah--I also hate movies that end the same as they started. At the end, Juno and her boyfriend just kinda go back to hanging out and playing music, no different from the way they were before.
As the stars would have it, we now own the DVD. Sigh.
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