I just watched the new movie Juno. Critics raved about it as a feel-good comedy that is blazingly truthful. Warning: spoilers below.
The movie is about a 16-year-old pregnant girl who struggles with her options. It was okay, but I am a little disturbed about the raves. The title character Juno seduces a classmate and dumps him. She likes him but doesn't give him any say about what to do about the pregnancy. She only considers dating him after she has a jealous fit. She finds adoptive parents based on the most superficial factors, and rejects helpful advice. An ultrasound technician makes a minor comment praising Juno for finding adoptive parents, and we are expected to cheer as the technician gets verbally abused for it. Juno helps to bust up the marriage of the adoptive parents. The adoptive mother turns out to be a nut-case, but she gets the baby anyway.
The writer, Diablo Cody, is a woman who seems to be promoting some sort of feminist message that men should have no say in anything connected to babies. Juno refuses to listen to her father and to the father of her baby. The adoptive mother refuses to listen to what her husband has to say about the adoption, the baby's name, or the house preparations. Both Juno and the adoptive mother are portrayed as women who only need a man to help make the baby, and who can then casually discard the man.
The actress that played Juno, Ellen Page, was also the protagonist in Hard Candy. She also got wide praise for that movie, but I thought that she was creepier than the pedophiles. These are sick movies, and I am disturbed by the raves that they have gotten.
Response to Jonathan: I don't think that the movie Juno is anti-man. The men in the movie are more likable and sympathetic than the women. But the movie is strongly against men having any say about kids. That message is in almost every scene.
Yes, Juno consulted her boyfriend and parents. And then she proceeded to ignore them and insist on making all the decisions by herself. The boy should have met the adoptive parents and signed off on the adoption. The baby is his child also, and he has rights. The parents should have made their own determination regarding whether the adoptive parents were suitable.
I don't blame the 16-year-old Juno for breaking up the marriage of Mark and Vanessa. Juno is just a dumb kid. My objection is to the movie's potrayal of Juno as having done the good and responsible thing. It is clear from the start that Vanessa wants a kid much more than she wants to keep her husband, and that the kid will ruin their marriage. Vanessa was marginalizing Mark by ignoring him, confining his music to one room of the house, and refusing his input on baby names and house preparations. When the kid arrives, Mark will be completely extraneous. If she were really such a good mother, then she would have been figuring out how to get her husband more invested in the baby, instead of figuring out ways to shut him out. Maybe Juno isn't smart enough to see what is happening, but the adoption did destroy the marriage. Also, Juno insists on flirting with Mark even after her parents warn her of the dangers. And finally, Juno condemns her own baby to a fatherless life.
Update: Juno just got Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Actress, Director, and Original Screenplay.