Juno Director Jason Reitman Talks About Movie’s Adoption, Abortion Themes
by Steven Ertelt
December 13, 2007
Hollywood, CA (LifeNews.com) — "Juno" is the latest movie that hits on a pregnancy theme and the crucial decision of whether to have an abortion. Despite foul language and other aspects that upset pro-family groups, the film has delighted some pro-life advocates with its promotion of adoption over abortion.
In the new movie, Juno MacGuff (played by Ellen Page) is a teenager who suddenly finds herself pregnant after a tryst with her best friend.
Juno heads to a local abortion business — saying she will "nip [the problem] in the bud" — only to be talked out of taking her baby’s life by a pro-life sidewalk counselor who tells her about the development of her unborn child.
Jason Reitman, known for his 2006 debut, ”Thank You for Smoking," talked with the Morning Call newspaper about the movie.
Reitman says he expected the worst when he got the script for the film — thinking it would be another Afterschool Special with a Pollyanna look at pregnancy.
"Instead, it turns into a politically incorrect comedy that deals with teen pregnancy in a frank and warm way," he said.
Reitman told the newspaper he appreciates how the film takes an honest look at growing up and accepting responsibility but, at the same time, acknowledges that children grow up too fast in today’s world.
”More and more, we seem to be giving up our innocence faster and sooner,” he said. ”If Juno had decided to keep her baby, she could have become an adult right there and then. There’s something heartbreaking about that."
”By giving up the baby for adoption and staying a teenager, she holds on to her innocence for just a few years longer," he told the Morning Call. "For me, that’s the essence of what the film is about.”
Juno’s visit to the abortion center is different from the way recent movies ”Knocked Up” and ”Waitress" treat an unplanned pregnancy. "Bella," a movie loved by millions of pro-life advocates, includes an abortion facility scene but the pregnant lead character realizes on her own what decision she should make.
Reitman says the movie is neither pro-life nor pro-abortion.
"At the end of the day, it’s not a political film but one about family and about that moment when you have to grow up," he tells the newspaper. "But for those who are looking for politics in ‘Juno,’ you can find exactly what you want to see.”