Monday, February 25, 2008
Juno & pregnancy in high school
The Academy Awards were yesterday and admittedly I was cheering for Juno, partly because I love the underdog, especially the arthouse, lower-budget less glitzy films, but also because I really liked Juno. As a side note, it turns out that Diablo Cody, Juno's writer, grew up in Lemont and attended Benet Academy high school. I have lots of friends who went there, and one of them used to carpool to school with Diablo's brother (small world & all the more reson to cheer for Juno). Diablo Cody said in an interview that the movie was really not about teen pregnancy but instead it was about maturity and relationships that Juno experiences while going through pregnancy. But stepping back and examining the movie which seems to be a hit with my classes, I worry that it sends the wrong message about teen pregnancy. Do you think the movie makes it look fun in sort of an unlikely way? Does it seem that pregnancy brings Juno closer to her boyfriend? Is this the message that teens see in the movie? Or do they instead see a cute movie about being pregnant. Karen Steinhemmer writes in her blog that Juno has much factual insight into the difficulties of being pregnant in high school and the stereotypes that go along with it. I like her blog, but I am not sure that this is what teens get out of the movie. What do you think? I think there is very little emphasis on how difficult it is to be pregnant in general not to mention the difficulty of being in high school and being pregnant and the negative stereotypes that go along with it. There is also very little of the emotion from birthing the baby and the feelings of loss and emotional turmoil afterwards.
As a side note Diablo Cody got her start in writing by blogging!