Juno

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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.

Tropes used in Juno include:
  • Adorkable: Paulie Bleeker.
  • Alcohol Is Poison: When she first meets the adoptive parents, 16-year-old Juno asks for a Maker's Mark to drink.

"She's kidding. June-bug has a wonderful sense of humor--just one of her many genetic gifts."

    • To be fair, she was a pregnant sixteen year old.
  • 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).
  • 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: Thankfully, it's not "Don't get pregnant as a teenager". It's more along the lines of "A true love will stick with you no matter what happens... even if you have to go through the drama of getting pregnant as a teenager".
  • Animated Credits Opening
  • Artistic License: Biology: Fetuses wouldn't have fingernails that early in the pregnancy. Somewhat Justified since Juno and her friends aren't really the type to research that kind of thing, they took the words of a protester (who, let's face it, was not that smart: "all babies want to get borned" anyone?) at face value and ran with it.
  • Book Ends: It began and ended with a chair.
  • Buffy-Speak and/or Totally Radical: Much of the dialogue in the movie. "Honest to blog" is the most infamous line.
  • Coming of Age Story
  • Completely Missing the Point: As Juno is telling her parents that she is pregnant:

Mac: Who is the kid?
Juno: The-the baby? I don't really know much about it other than, I mean, it has fingernails, allegedly.
Bren: Nails, really?
Juno: Yeah!
Mac: No, I mean, who's the father, Juno?

  • 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.

"She's just... different."

  • Deadpan Snarker: Juno. And most of the other characters as well.
  • The Ditz: Leah comes the closest, though she does help Juno, proving she isn't totally useless, like when she suggests that Juno check the Pennysaver for adoption ads.
  • Dress Hits Floor: Cherry print boy briefs hit the floor.
  • 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, arguably. 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.
  • Full-Name Basis: Paulie Bleeker is frequently referred to by his full name.
    • And it's always Katrina de Voort. Who smells like soup; her whole house smells like soup.
  • Golden Moment: When Juno asks her father if two people can always love each other. It works.
  • 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 clinic waiting room. After hearing Su-Chin say that babies have fingernails (which they don't), 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.
  • Henpecked Husband: Mark.
  • Instant Birth, Just Add Water: Averted.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Juno has sex with Paulie once and gets pregnant; Vanessa and Mark try for five years without any success.
  • Living in a Furniture Store: 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, which except for Mark's room 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.
    • Perhaps done on purpose. 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? Mark's room full of old records and musical paraphernalia is more messy.
  • MacGuffin: Baby location.
  • 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)

  • Meaningful Name: Juno was the Roman goddess of childbirth. And MacGuff->MacGuffin is pretty obvious.
  • 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 abortion clinic 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.
  • Poster Gallery Bedroom: Both Juno and Leah's bedrooms.
  • Rule of Cool: Why did Juno spend the night moving and setting up an entire living room set on Paulie's front yard? Because it's simply more dramatic!
  • Running Gag: Fetuses have fingernails! Fingernails also feature into the film in other ways; Brenda, Juno's stepmother, owns a nail salon, for example. There's also a literal one in the form of the Dancing Elk track team running through the seasons.
    • "Sexually active".
  • Sex Equals Love: Almost averted. Before the film's start, Juno has broken it with Paulie, though they're still good friends. However, after several misadventures and a disillusionment about the possibility of True Love, Juno comes to realize that Bleeker is her number one. Juno herself remarks that usually it's "fall in love, then reproduce."
  • Shout-Out: Albeit a very minor one, but when Juno is asked about whether her band is getting back together, she replies "Once Tino gets a new drumhead, we should be ready to rock.".
    • THUNDERCATS ARE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • Skirt Over Slacks: Juno. At one point, she takes off the skirt when she goes to see Paulie, which Word of God says he knows her well enough to give her a hard time about.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The attitude Juno takes toward teen pregnancy is very idealistic.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Juno holds an empty pipe during her initial confrontation with Paulie. It's empty, but it looks cool.
  • Snark Knight: Juno's snarkiness grows along with the baby.
  • Stealth Pun: Juno's namesake is the Roman goddess of, among other things, fertility and childbirth. The protagonist even says that she was named after the goddess.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mark though his smile does indeed break before long.
    • Vanessa as well. Toward the end, all her issues with Mark continuing to chase his rock star dreams come spilling out.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Obviously.
  • Their First Time: "It all started with a chair."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Juno and Leah.