Teen pregnancy at the movies
The critically acclaimed movie 'Juno'
The movie Juno—about a 16-year-old named Juno MacGuff who gets pregnant—has piled up film festival awards and three Golden Globe nominations (Los Angeles Times, free registration), and its feel-good take on teen pregnancy, abortion, and family values has fueled fresh debate in the culture wars.
What the commentators said
Boy, are “pro-aborts” going to “hate” this movie, said Jill Stanek in WorldNetDaily. Juno undermines “almost all their talking points”—it portrays adoption as a “heroic option,” pro-life protesters as “geeky” but “nice,” and abortion clinics as “creepy.”
Arriving at the same time as the news of an “uptick” in the teen birthrate, said Ann Hulbert in Slate, the film was bound to inflame the “culture wars.” But neither side escapes un-mocked from this morality tale by “former-stripper-turned-screenwriter” Diablo Cody. The film’s charming eponymous star defuses “polarized positions on the hot-button issues,” and “takes idiosyncratic aim at everybody's pieties.”
The young heroine’s attitude hints at an explanation for rising teen pregnancy, said the Los Angeles Times’ Meghan Daum in the Chicago Tribune. “Juno may be bummed out by her situation, but she's certainly not mortified.” Maybe shame is effective birth control. Surely, there’s a middle ground between “shunning” pregnant teens and “becoming blase about them in the name of tolerance.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
MOST POPULAR ON THE WEEK
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Rise of the machines
- Ban PowerPoint!
Subscribe to the Week