Juno immediately takes the heavy handed judgment out of teenage pregnancy structuring the film in a whimsical, comedic space. In doing so, it actually makes the poignancy of such a situation more acute and more powerful to the audience.
Credit goes to Diablo Cody who took the Oscar home for Best Original Screenplay at the 80th Academy Awards. The central figure of the film is 16 year old Juno, played impeccably by the talented Ellen Page (who was also was also nominated in the Best Actress category in the same year for an Academy Award).
The life of this intelligent, witty, sarcastic girl is turned upside down where one act of sex with a more naïve boyfriend played by an equally talented Michael Cera, produces fertilization. Now the story follows an idealistic take with Juno taking charge of her situation and looking into alternatives and finally deciding on adoption. She actually selects the adoptive parents out of a Penny Saver ad.
Then she tells her liberal parents who, although shock, support her. I think the story did not take the usual Lifetime dramatic pitch of teenage daughter plot on purpose. Instead, it took us on a journey with Juno that laced with comedic wit brought us home to the fact that bringing a child to into the world is serious business. We may not be prepared for it at 16 or at 35.
Enter in the adoptive parents, the Lorings –played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. On paper, successful childless couple with everything that fits what a young infant should have in this world. Except for one thing, only one of them wants to be a parent.
Juno is about how growing up for some is escalated quickly by events like teenage pregnancy but it is also about how the love of family and friends can help you regain your course. It is also about how babies born into such circumstances can find loving nurturing homes of parents ready to embrace them.
This is a great movie.