How 'Juno' Would've Been Different If Paulie Bleeker Was The Main Character
The best thing about Juno, besides its ridiculously witty dialogue ("That ain't no Etch-A-Sketch. This is one doodle that can't be un-did, Homeskillet") and soothing soundtrack (how great are The Moldy Peaches?) is the empathy the film produces for its main character, the pregnant teen Juno MacGuff. But what if Juno wasn't the main character of the film — what if her track-running best friend, Paulie Bleeker, was instead? The movie would probably have the same dialogue, soundtrack, aesthetic, and all-around feel, but it would be a much different look at teen pregnancy —from the perspective of the other half of the equation.
Bleeker spends a great deal of the movie being completely bewildered by Juno, who he happens to be in love with. From her desire to have sex with him, much to his surprise, to her anger over him taking a girl who smells like soup to the prom, Juno is the cause of Bleeker's constant confusion. But if he were the movie's protagonist instead of her? Their encounters — plus much else — would've gone a lot differently.
1. Things Would Be Way More Awkward
Paulie is adorable in his awkwardness, but there wouldn't be a scene with him in it that wouldn't have you cringing.
2. There Would Be Many More Track Scenes
The movie is divided into four seasons, and Bleeker's practicing track team opens each season. If Paulie was the protagonist, track would play an even bigger part in the movie, because it's a huge part of his life.
3. There Would Be At Least One Uncomfortable Scene With Juno's Dad
When Mac McGuff finds out who impregated Juno, his first words are, "I'm going to punch that Bleeker kid in the nuts." If Bleeker led the movie, viewers might've seen that threat actually take place.
4. We'd See Some Nasty Locker Room Talk
Viewers get an idea about some of the sexist talk Paulie overhears when one of his track friends asks him about Juno's pregnancy. You can imagine that a lot more of that stuff would've gone down besides what was shown in the film, and it would definitely be shown if Paulie was the film's protagonist. I hope that if so, he would stand up for Juno, although sadly, it seems more likely that he would just shrug and scurry away.
5. The Sex Scene Would Be A Bigger Deal
Juno says in the movie that she had sex because she was "bored" and there was seemingly nothing else better to do. Paulie had sex, though, because he was madly in love with her. It seemed much more important to him, so if the movie was about him, that would be reflected in the sex scene's runtime.
6. Soup Girl Would Play A Bigger Part
It's not her fault she smells like soup and has the misfortune to be dating Bleeker even though he loves Juno, but viewers certainly wouldn't be happy with her in a bigger role.
7. There'd Be More Fights With His Mother
From the little glimpse we see of Carol Bleeker, she's an overbearing mom who dislikes Juno. Part of Paulie's struggle would be telling his mom to back off because he loves Juno, and her criticism of her isn't OK.
I'm very happy with the way Juno is now, but I wouldn't say no to a reboot from Paulie's perspective. It's unlikely, of course, but wouldn't it be fun? Here's to the wonderful world of Juno, and to the sweet and innocent Paulie Bleeker.
Images: 20th Century Fox (2), Giphy (6)