Juno is a 2007 Independent comedy film. It stars Ellen Page and Michael Cera and was directed by Jason Reitman with the screenplay written by Diablo Cody. It was nominated for four Academy Awards; it won for Original Screenplay.After having sex with her friend Paulie Bleeker, sixteen year old Juno MacGuff finds out that she is pregnant. While confronting her parents, and trying to find a solution to her problem, Juno decides to give her baby up for adoption. Looking in the local newspaper, she finds a couple whom she deems to be the perfect parents. Upon meeting them, though they look like they have a rather nice and almost perfect life, she sees the couple may not have it all together. This causes Juno to re-examine the relationships in her own life, and wonder if any kind of love can really last a lifetime.Now has a character sheet in progress.
Advertised Extra: Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker was heavily emphasized in the promotional material and trailers. In actuality, he's a supporting character and goes Out of Focus in the second half of the film.
All Guys Want Cheerleaders: References the trope, but subverts it (Popular Guy seems to find Juno more attractive even if he chooses to date the cheerleader types).
Ambiguous Ending: Is Juno truly happy with giving her son up to Vanessa? Is Vanessa up to the task of raising him? Both questions are left up in the air.
Ambiguously Jewish: A poster of the Hebrew alphabet on Paulie's wall is the only clue. Jason Reitman points out a Bar Mitzvah certificate on it in the commentary.
An Aesop: Not so much "Teen Pregnancy sucks" (which pretty much goes without saying) as "A true love will stick with you no matter what happens... including getting pregnant as a teenager."
Brick Joke: In an early sequence Juno opens in voiceover that Steve Rendazo, a popular jock that regularly torments her, secretly wants her. By the end of the movie she's reunited with Bleeker and the two publicly make out. Cut to Steve Rendazo, looking away in shame and jealousy.
Also the repeated insistence that having sex wasn't Paulie's idea; even Juno's stepmother states it, and Paulie is thoroughly confused by the notion that it wasn't his idea.
Juno: The-the baby? I don't really know much about it other than, I mean, it has fingernails, allegedly.
Bren: Nails, really?
Mac: No, I mean, who's the father, Juno?
Also occurs when Juno first meets with the Lorings and their lawyer:
Gerta Rauss: So how far along are you?
Juno: I'm a junior.
Dating What Daddy Hates: Surprisingly averted. Though he's understandably annoyed that he got her pregnant, Juno's dad doesn't seem to have any real qualms about Juno dating Paulie. If anything, he seems impressed that Paulie was virile enough to get anyone pregnant, though he does still say he wants to punch him "in the wiener" next time he sees him.
On the other hand Paulie's mother doesn't like Juno.
Evil Stepmother: Averted. Brenda makes sure Juno is healthy during her pregnancy, defends her against a rude ultrasound technician, and generally supports her along the way (and refers to her as "my kid").
In fact, that's later used in the conversation between Juno and her father, about whether or not there are still people in happy relationships. Her dad points out that while his first marriage with Juno's mom didn't turn out well, things with Brenda were still going very good.
Face-Heel Turn: Mark. He spends the first half of the movie as "the cool adult" compared to the more uptight Vanessa, and Juno forms a close friendship with him. Then he leaves Vanessa just as she's about to adopt Juno's baby, and comes off as an irresponsible deadbeat dad. Or, taken from another point of view, Vanessa, who was being rather domineering and mean to him.
Fake American: Shot in Canada, starring two Canadian actors, but set in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Juno changes her mind about getting an abortion. It is her initial decision, but she drops the idea while in the abortionist's waiting room. After hearing Su-Chin say that the unborn have fingernails (which they don't just yet), she's sitting in the waiting room and sees people doing various things to/with their nails and runs away in a panic. In the commentary, the director mentions that hearing about the fingernails and noticing them for the first time sort of humanized the baby for her. Though interestingly, aside from Su-Chin's protest, abortion isn't treated as evil or wrong by the characters. Though Juno ultimately decided against it, it's clear that she'd have had the love and support of her friends and family either way.
Averted with the MacGuff household, which has a realistic amount of knickknacks and clutter for a working class family, and with Bleeker's room.
Played straight with Mark and Vanessa's house. Except for Mark's room, which is full of old records and musical paraphernalia and is kind of messy in a sweet way, their home is perfectly arranged and themed in white, beige and glass. After the adoption, Vanessa's night table acquires an appropriate layer of wadded tissues and baby formula.Vanessa is implied to have an orderly life without much 'clutter'. What better way to symbolize that than to have a house with not too many small objects left lying around?
Mama Bear: Surprisingly, Bren turns aggressive when the ultrasound nurse makes a passing comment on teenage pregnancy. It's pretty awesome and heartwarming.
Bren: What is your job title exactly? Nurse: I'm an ultrasound technician, ma'am. Bren: Well, I'm a nail technician and I think we both ought to just stick to what we know. Nurse: Excuse me? Bren: Oh, you think you're so special because you get to play Picture Pages up there? Well, my five year old daughter could do that and let me tell you, she's not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed. So why don't you go back to night school in Mantino and learn a real trade? (Technician shuts up and leaves)
Minnesota Nice: Not as over-the-top as some examples, but Juno and pretty much all of the people who she interacts with are basically nice and understanding. Even when she goes to the abortionist, her protesting classmate doesn't make that big a deal about it.
Missing Mom: Juno's parents are divorced and she lives with her father. Mostly averted, though, because of her step-mother, who is far from being an Evil Stepmother.
Mood Whiplash. A lighter music montage late in the movie was cut in order to avoid this due to it being right after Mark leaves Vanessa.
The scene where Juno is discussing comic books and dancing with Mark shifts directly to Mark's announcement that he is going to leave Vanessa and wants Juno to come with him.
What Could Have Been: Diablo Cody's script originally called for Juno to say nothing and just burst into gut-wrenching sobs upon seeing Bleeker for the first time after she gives birth. Some think this would have been more emotional for the audience, as we fully see the reality of the situation crash down upon Juno. However, this might have been too emotional, and may have made the audience want to see Juno keep the baby instead of Vanessa. Or feel less like a resolution as we get much less of the feeling that Juno's going to be alright, which may have been why it was replaced with a more upbeat scene ("nice legs").
White and Gray Morality: Unlike many other films involving teen pregnancy and adoption, what sets Juno apart is it's lack of an antagonist. There are plenty of good people, but no real sinners per se.