In life, people make their own choices. So in fiction, characters need to seem to make their own choices, or they won’t seem real. We know with fiction that authors are pulling the strings, but the art is in concealing the strings.

The potential for sensing an author’s agenda–especially in a teen pregnancy story–is as enormous as a belly in the third trimester. The beauty of Juno is that you never sense it. Juno (played by the wonderful Ellen Page) always seems to be making her own choices.

You can intuit an identity between screenwriter Diablo Cody (love her, hate the fake name) and her lead character. Look at how both names are unique and quirky and end in “o.” Look at how both names come from theology, with one the Spanish for devil and the other a Roman goddess. But on the screen, Juno has her own life force. I haven’t talked to a person yet who has seen the movie who hasn’t responded to it, and I’m happy to join the crowd.


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