Adolescence period is indeed the most exciting yet the most problematic stage in the life of every individual. This idea is perfectly portrayed by Jason Reitman’s Juno as the movie talks about the life of a whip-smart, witty and mature beyond her age girl named Juno MacGaff who finds herself pregnant at a very young age after a sexual encounter with her best friend Paulie Bleeker. At first, Juno leans toward an abortion to solve her problem on teenage pregnancy.
But when she realizes that the baby already has fingernails, she decides to give the baby for adoption. Juno’s dad and stepmother help her to fix the legal paperwork of adoption with the couple Vanessa and Mark. But the situation goes problematic as Juno realizes that Vanessa and Mark are not the perfect potential adoptive parents she ever thought. In the end, Juno understands many things about her adolescence because of what happened to her (The Internet Movie Database 2010).
Aside from perfectly discussing the predicaments of the adolescents about sexual experimentation and unplanned pregnancy, this movie is considered to be interesting and worth reflecting since it provides various emotional and psychological aspects that need therapeutic implications through the peculiar qualities exhibited by the main characters of the story. Juno, the main character, is described as a crazy precocious teenager who considers that she is smarter than the grown ups that is shy she often decides by herself thinking that she understands the world better than everyone else.
Paulie Bleeker is perceived as a shy-determinate boyfriend of Juno who acts irresponsibly after his sexual encounter with the girl. Mark, an old guy who is trying to rescue his personality, and Vanessa, a woman who is suffering from middle-age-crisis of not having a baby, are the baby’s prospective adoptive parents whom also show emotional and psychological predicaments. Juno’s father, in addition, also suffers from the problem of raising a teenager daughter by himself since the wife has left him while the stepmother likewise suffers from a limitation of trying to be a mother of someone else’s child.
Everybody in the movie has its own predicament that is worth reflecting as far as therapeutic and counseling implications are concerned. Therapeutic Implications One of the critical points that needs the aid of therapeutic process is reflected on the characterization of Juno MacGaff, the protagonist of the story, which incredibly shows the independent and intelligent side of the women of this generation as she tries to solve her problem on unplanned pregnancy all by herself.
Her courage shown while on the verge of resolving her predicament is truly remarkable for a 16 year old girl like her. But nonetheless, Juno also perfectly portrays one of the negative attributes of the youth nowadays when she tries to act like a mature individual in order to solve her problem. This attitude of the today’s youth is indeed the very reason why some of them are committing wrong decisions in life (Jaffe 1998). Juno could have resorted to abortion if she followed her first instinct to resolve the problem and never solicited the counsel of the grown-ups and friends.
Juno, through the portrayal of this movie, represents the immaturity that resides to most adolescents which tells that they understand the world better than the elders do and they think that they can fix unintended consequences of their decisions. This is the very reason why Juno is acting like a real independent and smart teenage girl. Although her sense of independency is a good point, but nonetheless, it is an advantageous trait that needs therapeutic implication among the youth to lessen the problems on sexual experimentation and unplanned pregnancy.
Another situation that needs therapeutic implication is found in the characterization of Paulie Bleeker, the cold-hearted and irresponsible best friend of Juno with whom she encountered sexual activity that makes her pregnant at an early age. Paulie Bleeker, after the sexual encounter, leaves everything to Juno’s decisions about the future of their baby. What is even worse is the situation when Paulie Bleeker tells Juno that he has no feeling for the girl other than friendship. This manifests the truth about the sexual practices that the youth are now engaged.
Some are really hooked up into pre-marital sex not because of love but only due to curiosity and experimentation. Paulie Bleeker is the perfect representation of the men who only like to have sexual encounter with women but never think of the responsibility that is attached to it. In this sense, it is proven that youth nowadays need to be counseled and taught how to become responsible and accountable to all their acts in order to avoid teenage problems such as pre-marital sex and unplanned pregnancy (Golden 2002).
Personal Implications Through the characterizations in this movie, I came to realize that parental guidance and counseling is an essential factor that largely determines the success of the life of an adolescent. Pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancy could be highly eliminated with the proper guidance of the parents, friends and environment of the adolescents. For instance, Juno could not have resorted to sexual experimentation and curiosity if and only if she is properly attended by a care of her own mother.
Although Juno’s stepmother shows ample concern for her, it is indeed better if Juno’s real mother is present during the adolescent period of the girl since it is considered to be the most problematic stage of development in the life of very individual (Jaffe 1998). Likewise, the guidance of a mother to a daughter is better as of the father’s presence. Though Juno’s father shows also considerable love and concern fro the girl, it is not really enough since a mother still knows best for a daughter like Juno.
This idea is true since a mother understands well the feeling of a daughter if women’s instincts, attributes and the like will be considered. Juno could have been properly guided about pre-marital sex and sexual experimentation if her mother is on her side. It will be awkward if the father talks about sex to his daughter. Furthermore, I also reflected through this movie that marriage or marital relationship is somehow strengthened by the blessing of siblings to the couples. Take for instance the case of the couple Mark and Vanessa.
Their relationship is indeed in great dilemma since they don’t have the ability to have a child or sibling. This fact is proven on their desire to have a child by the plan of adopting Juno’s baby. Nevertheless, I also learned through this couple that having a baby is still not a guarantee for the enduring marital relationship. For the husbands, adopting a child does not compensate their pleasure and joy of having a baby of their own flesh and blood. Mark would even become happier if the baby that his wife will rear will come from them.
Hence, in this sense, though some manage to maintain an enduring relationship without the presence of a child, children are indeed the seal of the happiness and endurance of any marital relationship in this world. On the part of Juno MacGaff and Paulie Bleeker, I came to know that the sense of responsibility is one of the important things that the youth should know in order to avoid teenage problems and depressions. Through Juno, I realized that even though how an adolescent is smart and independent is, still, the guidance and counseling of the grown-ups is very important.
Parents still know what is best for their child. Hence, adolescents should not think that they are smarter than the grown-ups. Likewise, through Paulie Bleeker, I learned that the sense of responsibility should be always taught to the adolescents in order to avoid them from teenage problems and anxieties. In total, Jason Reitman’s Juno is a great movie which delves on the paradigm of teenage pre-marital sex and unplanned pregnancy – issues that should be properly addressed nowadays in order to provide better future for the youth.
Courtney from Study Moose
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