Friday, June 06, 2008

Cudo's for Juno

I grew up in the 80's. During that time we had the films of John Hughes that helped to define a generation of Gen-Xers growing up under their Boomer parents. His movies brought a lot if insight into the way many teens of that generation experienced life. His movies had amazing characters, great plots, a wonderful sense of humor and depth that many of us related to as we grew up. It is with this experience in mind that I have been bothered by the lack of quality films that help teens through their experiences of growing up. It seems like so many films about teens today are about acting as stupid as possible, and how to get drunk and get laid. It is with the absence of any great,enduring teen films that all of a sudden Juno comes along.

This movie was amazing on many, many levels and I would hope that parents as well as teens would see this movie and use it as a discussion on several topics such as:

1. Sexuality: How has our culture gotten to the point that sex is seen as the next best thing to boredom? How have we failed the youth of today by not teaching a Biblical view of healthy sexuality as well as living out a loving, caring and nurturing marriage in front of our children? Why is the divorce rate in the church exactly the same as that of the mainstream culture? Why is marriage not seen as an exciting new stage of life to look forward to?

2. Family: It is scary to see all of the options that Juno goes through in dealing with her predicament before she final comes around to telling her parents. How can we create a culture within our families, church and community in which a teen who is in trouble or has made a mistake can know that there are caring, loving people who they can go to when they need help?

3. Life: Life is a beautiful thing even if it is an unplanned pregnancy. I love the advice of the step-mom in which one person's problems might be Jesus' blessing to someone else. I was almost kind of surprised by how the abortion clinic was portrayed but in all fairness, a culture of not taking responsibility for one's actions breeds a type of mentality. Granted, I know abortion is a complex issue but I loved the beauty and celebration of life all throughout this movie and the attitude that there had to be a better way other than abortion. The teen abortion protester even made me sympathetic towards the "protest community" of which I have never been a big fan of either. Her protest was rooted in the fact that she had a relationship with Juno as a fellow student and she approached Juno with compassion.

4. Relationships: This movie I believe adequately portrayed all relationships in a way that showed that no matter what, there is no perfect relationship. We are all flawed human beings. Juno and Bleeker were young teens who made a stupid mistake and are trying to live into those choices. Juno's parents are divorced and she expressed feelings of abandonment towards how her mother walked out on them. The adoptive parents, although looking like the perfect couple at first, ended up being another painful source of abandonment and grief to Juno. If one thing came out loud and clear from Juno's dad and step-mom it was that relationships take a lot of work and there are rules and boundaries to making it work. I absolutely loved her dad and step-mom in this film.

I was also equally excited to see the last name of the director: Reitman, Jason Reitman that is! The son of Ivan Reitman who was also another director who struck quite a bit of fame during the 80's with my generation! My hope is that this is only the beginning for Jason as he comes from a family of fun storytellers and was most-likely raised on the same teen movies of the 80's. I hope he has discovered his niche with Juno!

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