Monday, July 21, 2008

Juno - What about Mark?

This weekend I watched the movie Juno for the first time. It was great -- I really loved it! Some of the funniest dialogue I've ever heard. I really hope that if I ever get pregnant, and my water breaks, that I remember to yell "Thundercats, GO!" So hilarious!!!

The only thing that bothered me was that I felt like the character of "Mark" (played by Jason Bateman) was a little misunderstood. He's the guy that's married to "Vanessa" (played by Jennfier Garner) that want to adopt Juno's baby. I guess what bothers me is that he's painted as kind of a jerk. Yes, he makes a pass at a pregnant 16-year-old, and yes, he does leave Vanessa because he's not ready to have a baby. But here's the big thing: he gave up who he truly was to be with this woman. All of his music, guitars -- his real passion in life -- were being stored in a closet or in the basement. Vanessa didn't love him for everything that he was, and he was adjusting his life to keep her. Then Juno waddles into their lives, and she sees all of these things about Mark that his wife doesn't -- so of course he finds a kind of attraction to her! Juno likes Mark for everything that he is. That's the way he wants his wife to see him too, but she can't do that.

I kind of felt like he was left as the "bad guy" in the story though, and that made me sad. I don't think he's entirely the one at fault for the whole situation. Maybe he shouldn't have married Vanessa in the first place -- because clearly she didn't love everything about him. Also, Juno made him not only realize that he was not ready for a baby, but that he was making mistakes in his life and he had to change something about it. Divorce and broken hearts all suck, but it looks to me like he made the right decision. He finally started to see what would make him happy in his life, and wanted to stop living it entirely for someone else. But the movie didn't go into his new life, or his newfound happiness. They left him as the guy who left his wife with a baby and hit on a 16-year-old. And to me, that's quite a bummer.
Other than that -- I thought the movie was fantastic. Really great, super funny, and touching too! However, if you've seen it, please re-consider Mark and his decisions. What would you have done in his place? And if you haven't seen the movie -- sorry I ruined part of the plot for you. ;)


KAT said...

Coming soon to a halloween near you: "Kat and Brian" are "Juno and Bleeker"!

Tim said...

Vijay: Hey Man.
Bleeker: Oh, hey Vijay.
Vijay: Did you hear Juno MacGuff is pregnant?
Bleeker: Yup.
Vijay: Did you hear it’s yours?
Bleeker: Yup.
…Vijay: You should grow a mustache. You’re a real man now.
Bleeker: I can’t grow a mustache. It never comes in evenly.
Vijay: Me neither. But I’m going to stop wearing underpants in order to raise my sperm count. See you.

Beth B said...

I've got another good one for you -- probably one of my favorite dialouge's from the movie!! :)

Leah: Yo Yo Yiggady Yo.
Juno MacGuff: I'm at suicide risk.
Leah: Juno?
Juno MacGuff: No, it's Morgan Freeman. Do you have any bones that need collecting?
Leah: Only the one in my pants...
Juno MacGuff: I'm pregnant.
Leah: What? Honest to blog?
Juno MacGuff: Yeah. Yeah, it's Bleekers.
Leah: It's probably just a food baby. Did you have a big lunch?
Juno MacGuff: No, this is not a food baby all right? I've taken like three pregnancy tests, and I'm forshizz up the spout.
Leah: How did you even generate enough pee for three pregnancy tests? That's amazing...
Juno MacGuff: I don't know, I drank like, ten tons of Sunny D... Anyway dude, I'm telling you I'm pregnant and you're acting shockingly cavalier.
Leah: Is this for real? Like, for real for real?
Juno MacGuff: Unfortunately, yes.
Leah: Oh my GOD. Oh shit! Phuket, Thailand!
Juno MacGuff: There we go. That was kind of the emotion that I was searching for on the first take.

Amber said...

I didn't think he was hitting on Juno at all. And I didn't think he was painted as the bad guy. It totally came across that he had given up 'who he was/is' to be with Vanessa. So many people do that in life. That's why I think the audience can relate to him. And all of the characters. They are all flawed and make mistakes. Rocko. A :)

Brian said...

I'm not sure I know what Kat is talking about.