The main character in the movie Juno is a 16 year old girl named Juno. She is witty, sarcastic and has a great sense of humor. Surrounded by the falling leaves of autumn, we find Juno drinking “like ten tons of Sunny D” as she decides to take three pregnancy tests to confirm her worst fear. She is pregnant. After a fateful and funny encounter with a pro-life schoolmate outside an abortion clinic, ("Fingernails? The baby already has fingernails?"), Juno decides to go through with the pregnancy. Juno breaks the news to her best friend and father of the baby Paulie Bleeker, as well as her parents. Surprisingly all parties seem very supportive of her plan to give the baby up for adoption. With the advice from her friend Leah she searches the Penny Saver paper for a couple to adopt her baby. She finds the ideal parents-to-be, Mark and Vanessa, under the heading “Desperately Seeking Spawn”. Juno encompasses many issues involving interpersonal communication. This analysis will focus on perceptions, self (hidden and revealed), and conflict. Juno chose Mark and Vanessa from the Penny Saver because of the look and legitimacy of their picture. Juno liked the fact that they didn’t use a fake background in the picture. Just from the looks of the ad Juno made the perception that this couple would be the perfect parents for her unborn baby, she doesn’t seem to realize how odd it is for the couple to advertise for a baby in the Penny Saver. As the movie progresses, we soon find out they were not so “perfect” after all. Juno’s initial perceptions of the couple change as they both reveal parts of their private selves throughout the movie.
“They were beautiful, even in black and white” -Juno
Juno and her dad travel to meet the couple and at first glance the marriage as it was shown thru the want ads seemed to be a solid loving marriage. Juno is impressed at the size, neatness, and accessories of the house. She stops to look at pictures of the couple as she goes upstairs to the bathroom and she marvels at the monogrammed hand towels and Vanessa’s array of perfume bottles. According to Professor William Brewer (1984) , there is a basic assumption that an individual's prior experience will influence how he or she perceives, comprehends, and remembers new information in a scene thus contributing to a schemata. The items Juno sees in the house are factors that contribute to Juno’s schemata of a good home and this helps secure her belief that Mark and Vanessa are the perfect couple. She has formed a clear interpersonal impression of this couple as being loving, happy, and secure in their relationship mostly by judging their appearance and material possessions. (McCornnack, 2010, p.95) Mark and Vanessa also put on a good mask that goes along with how Juno sees them. They both do their best to show Juno and her dad that they want to be parents. As we get to know them a little better we see that they both have reservations. Vanessa is afraid that Juno might change her mind and Mark simply is not ready to be a father. The irony in this is that Juno thinks it is crazy when people portray themselves one way but really are another way. A dialogue in the movie shows exactly that when Juno talks about a jock in her school that belongs to the football team. She describes him as this cool guy that wears a letterman jacket. She explains how he is expected be going out with the perfect-straight-blonde-hair cheerleader girl. But, in reality what he really would like to do is to go out with a freak girl like her. She says that this would never happen and instead he treats her rudely because that is what is expected of him. Satrapa, Melhado, Coelho, Otta, Taubemblatt, and Siqueira (1992) noted that people choose their clothes while keeping their social meaning in mind. Dress style conveys information not only about such matters as age, gender, personality traits,...
References: Brewer, W. F., & Nakamura, G. V. (1984). The nature and functions of
schemas. In R. S. Wyer & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition
(Vol. 1, pp. 119-160). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
McCornack, Steven (2010). Reflect & Relate an introduction to interpersonal communication Second Edition. Boston, MA Bedford/St. Martin 's.
Reitman, J. (Director). Malkovich, J. (Producer) (2007). Juno [Film] Hollywood:Mandate Pictures.
Satrapa, A., Melhado, M. B., Coelho, M. M. C., Otta, E., Taubemblatt, R., & Siqueira, W. D. F. (1992). Influence of style of dress on formation of first impressions. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 74, 159-162.
Waite, L. J., & Lillard, L. A. (1991). Children and marital disruption. The RAND Publication, N-3315-NICHD, 930-953.
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