SOAPBOX ALERT: I usually try to avoid both preaching and critiquing movies at TPM, but sometimes a guy's just gotta harangue. So here I go:
Juno is only barely a movie about bringing new life into the world. It's primarily a postmodern moral experiment to see if ironic, near-weightless characters can have their cake and eat it too. To achieve this, it has to abandon the traditional stuff of reproductive drama, like territoriality, responsibility, and the powerful, conflicting bonds that exist between lovers, parents and offspring, in favour of an idealized grrl-topia where men behave like passive, indulgent milquetoasts or sexual predators, and mothers-to-be are somehow empowered by acting like selfish, irresponsible babies themselves.
The infant that arrives at the film's end is passed off to Garner's character with hardly a tear (says Juno in the voiceover: "She was never really ours, anyway"), and comes off more like an afterthought or prop than an actual human being. This child is inexplicably delivered from a promising domestic situation in which both parents are present (and in love!) along with three biological grandparents and a committed step-spouse, and into the hands of a single mother who has demonstrably poor taste in men--the equivalent of this in poker would be to throw out an entire royal flush for a queen and a joker. No one with any real-life childbearing experience could write a movie in which allegedly sane people think and act this way.
Juno tacitly encourages young women to think that pregnancy is all about them. It isn't. Juno also falsely suggests that giving up a baby after carrying it around for 9 months isn't much harder than getting one's appendix out. Whether one is pro-choice or pro-life is irrelevant--everyone should be pro-responsibility and pro-reality, and Juno is neither. It is a travesty, a celebration of narcissism and immaturity, and it's sad that real teenagers who don't know any better are going to take cues from this ridiculous film.
Blinkered selfishness and intelligent self-interest are not the same thing at all. The sooner more feminist-influenced artists figure this out, the sooner they'll stop making shitty movies like Juno.
(Image from www.dorkgasm.com)