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Just to produce some interesting discussion (I’m sure ALL of you have seen this great movie now), I’m posting a very earnest review of a very funny movie that makes all the appropriate pro-life, pro-responsibility, pro-family points. It’s true enough that JUNO doesn’t endorse contraception as the remedy for teenage pregnancy. Nor does it embrace such pregnancy as an awesome journey to discover what kind of girl you really are. I would add that the movie doesn’t mean to be some kind of reflection on the problem of teenage pregancy at all.

Discussions - 5 Comments

I'm curious how this fits into the right's incessant hatred of Hollywood (and the "liberally-biased" mainstream media that seems to be touting this movie quite a lot, too) as a liberal cesspool pumping out the propaganda for "The Party of Death."

Craig, I have read some very nasty stuff about this movie from liberal sources. And if you consider this blog an exemplar of the right, you can't read it and find incessant hatred of Hollywood. This is at least the fourth post referring to Juno as a movie worth seeing, and there are always such recommendations of movies. Maybe you haven't been paying attention.

While waiting for that comment to process, which takes a very long time at NLT these days, I read the article indicated in Peter's post. What struck me was one of every thirteen teenage girls becomes pregnant...about one-third of these pregnancies end in abortion

Is that all? I mean, the number is large, but that means about two-thirds of those pregnancies end in birth. That tells me a lot about the numbers of single mothers I have in my community college classes. It also says that Ross Douthat is wrong, because giving birth is not a matter of non-conformity. Most of those pregnant teens give birth.

The movie's message that another person can be a mother to your child is the more important message. You may be "woman" at age sixteen, but that does not mean you are capable of being "mother" at that age. There are women who feel born to be "mother" and who do not give birth. That is so powerful that even single motherhood is the better option at that point. Maybe. But this message has to resonate among the young women for who abortion is no option, and who might be expected by parents, or by the guy's parents in some instances I know, to give birth and keep the baby for their sakes. I'll give it that this is a pro-life movie, but most teens are pro-life, too, going by those Guttmacher Institute numbers. The more important message to teens is the pro-adoption message. It is a good answer or t least a better solution to the problem most teenage moms face as to how to continue with life after the nine months is up.

At my kids' kindergarten, the kids were always encouraged to try and read the newspaper and their teacher would frequently bring news stories to their attention so as to let them become more familiar with their world. It was part of her way of teaching geography, but also vocabulary, and critical thinking. She did not purposely engage them in stories she thought would upset them or be beyond their years, but sometimes it was unavoidable. One such instance was on the occasion of the anniversary of Roe. Protests and counter-protests filled the front page. She did not make a point of bringing it to their attention but the kids saw the paper during recess and began asking questions. Since the teacher at this private school, of which she is the sole proprietor (herself pro-life, but also a feminist), was very sensitive about not irritating the parents who may have different views, she tried to give as simple and as dry and as objective an accounting of what abortion is as it was possible to do. She had to answer the question but she did not want to horrify little children or irritate tuition paying parents either. She found that there was no way to do all of these things at once. The children were aghast and appalled by the facts alone. Their natural reaction was very human and unsolicited. The teacher saw it and saw, immediately, that she had a problem. It was absurd to try and present this as it were possible to call it anything other than what it is and the kids were calling her on it. Some parents, no doubt, were going to be angry with the questions their children brought home to them. But what could be done about that? It's the world we live in and they don't buy the gloss until it's beat into them. And, of course, the first conclusion that most of them draw upon learning about abortion is that they have yet another reason to admire their mothers and that they are more lucky than they imagined to be alive.

As for movies, however, I haven't managed to see a grown up movie in a theater since . . . I think The Passion of the Christ. If anyone cares, we did see The Chipmunk Movie and Enchanted over the break. My initial impressions from previews were all wrong. I didn't think either film would be outstanding, but I thought I'd enjoy Enchanted more than Alvin, Simon and Theodore. I didn't. Enchanted was a real stinker and not made better at all (as I had hoped) for the pleasure of looking at Patrick Dempsey for two hours. He was so dopey in it that I couldn't take him and he is now forever ruined in my eyes. The movie tried to do so many different things that it didn't do any of them well. It suffered alternately from lack of imagination (or rather, insight) and too much of it. I felt like I had had too much to drink after watching it. The singing . . . horrible! And my kids didn't like it much either.

The Chipmunk Movie, however, wasn't too bad. It was a simple film about real gratitude and friendship (or, really, good parenting) vs. imagined happiness and friendship (or really, bad parenting and spoiling). It was, in many ways, the perfect film to see at Christmas with kids who are inclined to expect too much in a material way (as most, certainly are). It wasn't overdone (though I might have done without the Chipmunk Rap) and it had a great villain played very well by the actor who took on the role. I probably wouldn't buy the DVD . . . but I might rent it again next Christmas.

It does take an amazing amount of sophistication to accept and condone abortion. Recently, I heard a niece say to her son, "Sure, a kid is wonderful and life is a gift. But if you don't want a gift, you take it back to the store. You can't do that when you get pregnant, so you have an abortion." Watching his face I pitied him, poor kid sorting out that conundrum.

"You are fungible as a cell phone, my darling."

Thanks, mom.

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