Juno Summary and Analysis of Part 4: Unraveling


Spring. We see Bleeker running around the track, and Bren putting an elasticized waist into Juno’s blue jeans. Juno walks down the hall at school and crowds of classmates part to let her through. The scene shifts and we see Mark composing a commercial jingle about “Brunch Bowlz.” Juno calls him to tell him that she’s been listening to the CD he made for her. “It’s cute,” she says, and the two of them joke about how Juno has a lot to teach him.

At lunch, Juno takes a ridiculous amount of food, which Leah comments on. They sit inside of an emptied trophy case and eat their lunch, and Leah tells Juno that the geometry teacher with whom she regularly flirts is now grading her unfairly. When Juno asks her not to refer to their teacher by his first name, Leah insists, “But Keith’s hot!” Leah then tells Juno that Bleeker is going to prom with Katrina Devort, the girl that Juno told him he should date. Now Juno is indignant, but Leah insists that Bleeker asked Katrina, that “they’re going to Benihana, and then prom, and then VJ’s parent’s cabin.” Juno cannot believe it, and is convinced that Bleeker doesn’t actually like Katrina.

We see Bleeker eating Tic-Tacs at his locker. Juno walks up and confronts him about the fact that he’s going to prom with Katrina. Bleeker is taken aback, but agrees that he did ask Katrina to prom. “Your mom must be pretty stoked that you’re not taking me,” Juno says, and Bleeker asks why she’s so mad. She rattles off a list of things that her pregnancy have made hard, and a list of things that would be “exponentially cooler” than going to prom with Bleeker. Bleeker is taken aback, and insists that Juno is the one that broke his heart. They banter back and forth, and it becomes increasingly clear that Juno is genuinely resentful of the fact that Bleeker doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of the sex they had. “At least you don’t have to have the evidence under your sweater. I’m a planet,” she says, before walking off to class.

Juno gets in the car and applies lipstick, before driving to Mark and Vanessa’s. Mark runs to the door and lets her in. When Juno asks if Vanessa is there, Mark tells her they are “safe.” They go into an unfinished room where Mark keeps his old comics. He shows her one about a pregnant superhero that he got in Japan when his band was touring. Juno is excited to see pregnancy made cool and is grateful, before handing him some CDs to play. Mott the Hoople’s version of “All the Young Dudes,” plays and Mark tells Juno that he danced to it at his senior prom. Juno puts her hands on Mark’s waist and he repositions them around his neck. They begin to dance slowly to the music and Juno rests her head on Mark’s chest. “I’m leaving Vanessa,” he whispers to her suddenly. Standing up straight, Juno is shocked and appalled. “I thought you’d be cool with this,” Mark says, but Juno is upset, gesturing to her pregnant belly and saying, “I want things to perfect. I don’t want things to be shitty and broken like everyone else’s family!”

Mark tells Juno that the baby isn’t going to fix his relationship with Vanessa, and that he doesn’t even know if he wants a baby. When Juno calls him old, he asks, “How do you think of me? I mean, why are you over here?” implying that Juno is attracted to him. “I just like being a piece of furniture in your weird life,” she tells him. Mark tells her that he doesn’t like his life with Vanessa and that they aren’t in love anymore, but Juno is upset: “You were in love when you married her, and if you’re in love once, you can be in love again…You’re just not trying hard enough!”

Juno storms into the kitchen, where Vanessa is unpacking groceries. She notices Juno is crying and immediately becomes protective, asking what’s wrong. Mark follows Juno and insists that she is just being “hormonal.” Vanessa doesn’t buy it, scowling at Mark and asking, “What did you do?” Mark hesitates, before telling Vanessa that he doesn’t think they’re ready to have a baby, that he isn’t ready. Juno begins to leave, but Vanessa stops her, insisting that Mark will come around once the baby’s born. Mark follows them and laments the fact that it has all happened so fast, that he thinks it’s all bad timing. Vanessa approaches him and asks pointedly, “What would be a good time for you, Mark?” She mocks his shirt, a t-shirt for a rock band, before telling him, “If I have to wait for you to become Kurt Cobain, I’m never gonna be a mother.” When Mark tells Vanessa, “I never said I’d be a good father,” Juno storms out, slamming the door behind her.

Juno drives away, weeping. She pulls over next to the highway and sobs, rubbing her belly. Nearby, a train rolls by. Suddenly she stops crying and decides to keep driving. We see Bleeker playing guitar in his bedroom. We then see Juno lying on the hood of her van in the parking lot of a convenience store. She gets back in the van and finds a crumpled piece of paper, on which she writes something.

We see Vanessa at home, drinking a glass of wine at the dining room table. Mark enters and tells her that he spoke to Gerta Rauss and they can go through with a “collaborative divorce.” He sits down and tells her that he’s going to move into a loft downtown. “Well aren’t you the cool guy,” Vanessa says, sarcastically. “I wanted a baby so bad,” she adds, when suddenly there’s a knock on the door. Mark answers it and we see Juno’s van pulling away. Vanessa picks up a note that Juno left and reads it, sighing.

We see Juno pulling the van up in front of her house and going inside. She picks a flower from the garden and smells it before circling her belly with it. “I never realize how much I like being home unless I’ve been somewhere really different for a while,” she narrates in voiceover.


As Juno nears the end of her pregnancy, life gets especially hard. Her stomach is giant and people talk about her behind her back at school. And to top it off, Bleeker has decided to go to prom with someone else. Juno takes the news of Bleeker’s date with Katrina pretty personally, imagining that he doesn’t want to be seen in public with her, that he must have been talked out of being interested in her by his judgmental mother. The irony is, she is the one who encouraged him to go on a date with Katrina Devort in the first place, and the one who pushed him away after she got pregnant. In an effort to appear unbothered and unemotional about the fact that they conceived a child together, Juno dismisses Bleeker. When he actually takes her advice, however, she is crestfallen, and the only way she knows how to show him she’s hurt is by berating him.

Thus, Juno’s major blind spot is exposed, and it is closely aligned with what makes her so special and unique. While Juno has such a bright and quick sense of humor, a strong moral compass, and an unexpectedly unsentimental approach to life, she is also somewhat detached from her emotions. The sense of humor that has made her so charming throughout her pregnancy—which might otherwise have been an exceedingly burdensome experience—also disconnects her from her genuine feelings. Therefore, rather than explicitly say what she feels to Bleeker, she deflects his loyalty to her and encourages him to date other people. Her furiousness when he actually does reach out to another girl shows the disconnect between what Juno says and what she wants.

Indeed, Juno’s behavior is not only misguided; it can also be interpreted as her resentment about being the one that has to go through with the pregnancy alone, while Bleeker suffers no social or physical consequences. As a pregnant teenaged girl, Juno is not only ostracized socially, but must carry a baby to birth, which has major effects on her body and her emotions. Thus, her resentment of Bleeker can be understood as not simply about the fact that he wants to date other people, but a broader resentment about the ways that society and nature make it so that the consequences of a pregnancy are unfairly distributed. As she tells Bleeker by his locker, close to tears, “At least you don’t have to have the evidence under your sweater.”

While Juno has been basically supported by the people and structures around her until the end of her pregnancy, she becomes more disillusioned now, and with good reason. Juno suffers even worse disappointment when Mark tells her that he is planning to leave Vanessa, move to the city, and that he’s not sure that he wants a baby. While she has certainly waded into an ambiguous and boundary-less relationship with Mark, Juno never imagined him being apart from Vanessa, especially given the fact that they are going to adopt her baby. It's an important, difficult moment in Mark's life, but he responds by more or less running away, revealing his immaturity. Not only does the father of Juno’s child not want to go to prom with her, but the adoptive father, who had held the promise of creating a perfect nuclear family for her unborn baby—not “shitty and broken like everyone else’s family”—is backing out of the arrangement as well. Pregnancy teaches Juno not only about the difficulties of childbearing, but also the disheartening inconsistencies in seemingly “together” adults, their capacities for instability and abandonment at key moments.

Juno’s position is a uniquely passive one, especially in relation to Mark and Vanessa’s failing marriage. While she is the one bearing the child and going through the bodily changes, the world seems to move around her without much regard for her feelings or experiences. Bleeker moves on and asks an appropriately un-pregnant girl to prom. Mark vents all of his marital frustrations on Juno, even referring to her as a “ticking clock” in front of her in his fight with Vanessa. Even though Juno’s pregnancy is pivotal to the course of the plot, it also marginalizes her. In this way, the film shows how pregnancy is as much an experience as it is an event that happens to someone, especially in the case of a mother who is giving the child up for adoption. Instead of receiving wisdom and guidance, Juno must bear witness to the crumbling of a family structure to which she doesn’t belong. Juno struggles to find grounding and a sense of support in her community, even though she is the character that perhaps needs it the most.