30 March, 2011

the barefoot baklesa recommends: 'Jenny & Juno' [also a review]

I like movies that, for at least a moment, make me forget that I’m such a jaded person for the most part of my conscious day. Trust me, I drift from being idealistic to being jaded by the hour each day -that’s just how the swirling mist in my head moves. I have not had the time to finish my review of the gay Korean movie “No Regrets” and here I am typing away for another movie: ‘Jenny and Juno’.

It’s a lazy start-of-summer afternoon for me and I just finished viewing ‘Jenny & Juno’ or ‘Jenny,Juno’ -the titular variations confuse me, really- and I feel all fuzzy inside. Right off the bat, this movie has earned a place in my heart as one of the best feel-good movies I have seen in years! Well, It doesn’t hurt that ‘Boy Meets Boy’ star Kim Hye-Sung plays the teenage boy named Juno who gets his girlfriend Jenny/Jae-in [played by the adorable Park Min-Ji] pregnant.

That’s right people, this movie is about teenage pregnancy. So why am I all giddy about a movie with such a serious premise to it? The movie treats upon the reality of how the average age of teenagers having sexual intercourse -and girls getting pregnant- are getting younger and younger these days; yet I found the way Jenny and Juno deal with this serious blow with the proper consideration for the value of human life through their innocent love for each other.

Jenny, an honor student and class president, falls for Juno, a newcomer to their school, who is quite a cool guy and enjoys a little fame as a champion cyber gamer. The movie starts when Jenny learns that she is pregnant and tells Juno. Things being a little to much to handle for Juno, he avoids Jenny for a while -as immature boys do- later to be reconciled with the resolve to keep the baby and face parenthood at a very young age. Juno does whatever he can to take care of Jenny: bringing her food at midnight, taking on a job to save some money, and making sure she has a healthy pregnancy. Determined to keep it a secret for as long as they can, Jenny & Juno eventually face the wrath of their disapproving parents when the pregnancy is finally revealed; with the adults having their own resolve to do what is necessary to keep them from ruining their young lives.

I know that the movie was written with the slant towards the unscarred heart and the unbound idealism of two young people in love, who are barely over being children themselves, now dealing with having a child of their own. But the most basic of things like “learning to live with the consequences of your actions” or “facing such tremendous odds head-on” are such simple things that young people ought to be reminded of.

On one hand, the movie is not without the ubiquitous requirements of a teen romance movie [you‘re going to enjoy these lovey-dovey sweet moments], yet I felt subliminally taught/reminded that abortion is wrong, that teenage pre-marital sex is not without its consequences, and that parents can only do so much for their child sometimes and they will still find it in their heart to love you either way. All that, without being preachy about it. Certain situations would seem unrealistic but you will learn to let it go of it as you watch because it’s quite a good movie: It had the right dose of idealism with the appropriate dose of reality. If I were a values education teacher, I’d certainly have my students watch this.

If you’re looking for a feel good movie for that lazy summer afternoon, then give ‘Jenny & Juno’ a chance to make you feel like you’re fifteen again, falling in love, and finding a rock to hit one’s self in the head with. I promise it will be worth your while.

So, check it out if you can. Here’s the link to the movie in

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