Seeing as the Wellbeing Zone have dedicated their display to sexual health I thought I would address the problem of unsafe sex in this week’s DVD review. Pregnancy is a pretty huge, life changing consequence of unsafe sex, as young Juno MacGuff finds out when she makes the bold step to lose her virginity to best friend Paulie Bleaker.
This quirky American comedy first hit cinema screens back in 2007 and writer Diablo Cody scooped the Oscar that year for her wonderfully colloquial screenplay. We are first introduced to Juno as she is buying a pregnancy test and learning she is pregnant. As we can see already, Juno is not the most conventional of 16 year old girls, she has a bold confidence and very off-beat manner that you would more likely see in an adult man. Juno, accompanied with best friend Leah – an attractive cheerleader type with a penchant for older man – decide to break the news to Juno’s father and step mother. Who, while disappointed in her, are supportive at her decision to have the baby and give it up for adoption. Juno and Leah hunt through the personal ads and find a couple, Mark and Vanessa Loring, with whom she makes a legal agreement with that they can have her baby when she has it. That’s the baby problem solved, now what about the father? Paulie Bleeker is a sweet, kind young boy who wholly supports Juno’s decision to give the baby to The Lorings. Bleeker and Juno are best friends, turned couple, who’s unconventional relationship takes a dramatic turn when Paulie asks another girl to go to prom with him. Juno, without saying so, is clearly very heart broken by this and struggles to deal with her ever increasing size and the staring students in the school corridors.
She finds an unlikely friend in Mark Loring, future adoptive father to the little foetus, who writes music for commercials. They two end up spending the day together when Juno visits them with a picture from her first sonogram. Vanessa is at work, so they listen to music, talk about music and watch old, gory horror movies together while debating the genius of Herschell Gordon Lewis. Juno gets into the habit quite quickly of spending her days with Mark, which to her is a perfectly normal thing to do and she thinks nothing of it, however, it becomes clear that Mark is seeing it as something more. Juno’s whole world starts crumbling all around her just as her waters break and she is left facing a very difficult decision that could dramatically change her life forever.
Juno is perfectly played by Ellen Page who is accompanied by a whole host of great actors. Michael Cera plays the naïve Paulie Bleeker and Olivia Thirlby plays best pal Leah. With the help of J.K Simmons and Allison Janney as Juno’s parents and Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as The Lorings, its not wonder this film was such a great success.
Director Jason Reitman, whose feature film career was kicked off with Thankyou For Not Smoking in 2005 sky rocketed after the release of Juno and he went on to make more indie films including Up in the Air starring George Clooney and Anna Kendrick and Young Adult starring Charlize Theron. Pairing up with Diablo Cody at the helm of the screenplay, the successes the film received were well and truly deserving of the talent that was the driving force behind it.
Perfect acting, masterful direction and triumphant writing all topped off with a strong soundtrack makes Juno a must watch for all young adults!
Further Reading in the Information Store:
Juno – DVD ZONE – 791.43 J
Juno: The Orginal Motion Picture Soundtrack – MUSIC CD – Soundtrack J
It Happened to Me: Teenage Pregnancy by Suzie Hayman – BOOK ZONE – 305.23 HAY
Great Answers to Difficult Questions About Adoption by Fanny Cohen Herlem – BOOK ZONE – 362.734 HER