Juno: A New Perspective to the Teenage Life

Teenage films have a wide range of sub-genres. Lots of them can be categorized as the ‘classical teen movies” as Denby did which includes conventional patterns. They have the same characters, like outsider popular boy or girl, a trophy black friend and a very basic plot line which usually shows us how outsider girl/boy finally gets the popular girl/boy. The basic aim is finding the perfect partner. However some films break that classic flow of the teenage film an offers us a different view about teenager life. I think Juno is one of them. When it was aired in America it received so many critics. Some people said that it romanticized the teenage pregnancy, reinforced teenage girls to keep their baby and avoid abortion. Because after Juno was aired 17 under sixteen girls got pregnant in Gloucester High School (Massachusetts) which some authorities called it the Juno effect. We can not say exactly how much it influenced teenage girls, but lots of feminist said that the film does not glamorizes teenage pregnancy it just pictures a young women who is strong, capable of making her own decisions and can deal with hard situations without seeking a male partner or husband. Anyway, according to these critics you can have a general idea about the film; A girl called Juno gets pregnant and when she goes to clinic for abortion she irritated by other women’s attitudes toward her by calling her ‘sexually active’ or reinforcing the idea that abortion is the only and the best way to deal with his issue for a girl like her. At that moment she takes the control of her life, tries to find a suitable family for adaptation while she was dealing her bodily changes. At the same time she tries to figure out does she loves the father of her child and wants to be with him as a soul mate not as a support for child. The characters, the story line is way different Denby introduces to us. Firstly finding a partner or love is not the biggest focus in the movie. Secondly even film setting is high school we don’t see much of a peer rivalry, hierarchy in school. It does not reinforces status quo. The film gives us a inner look of a one character rather that examining a group of teenager and their interactions which usually fails to examine the inner process of the characters.

Juno not just challenges teenage movie stereotypes it also challenges stereotypes in general. ”I don’t know what kind of girl I am.” says Juno MacGuff the main character of the film. She does not categories herself which is a helpful way to avoid steriotypes and its outcomes. She does not try to fit in or against any of the rules particularty. She is just an individual, a human being who deals with adultlike problems. While she was going through that process she also examines adult’s life which in steriotypical teen films we do not see adults, especially as an influancing character. But  Juno’s parents and couple who wants to adopt the child also efects the course of the storyline.


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