Pregnant stoners are more captivating than Oscar potential

16 year old Juno receives her first ultrasound after being accidentally knocked up, from the movie Juno. Written by: Nicole Ogden Mid-wives, stoner misfits and unattached pregnancies stealing box office spots As a new set of comedies come out, aimed at various audiences, they steal the top spots at the weekend box office. They are more than just new comedies; they come from the roots of movies such as Juno and Knocked Up which explored the idea of casual marijuana use and unexpected pregnancies. The new movie Baby Mama came out on April 25 and earned a better-than expected $18.3 million opening weekend. Not far behind, Kingsgate Films released their second Harold and Kumar adventure, only this time the pot-smoking duo tries to out run authorities who suspect them of being terrorist. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay reeled in $14.6 million. The recent baby boom of movies such as Baby Mama has sparked a new, not so traditional take on pregnancies. It is a movie about a high-strung professional woman who relies on a working- class girl to have her baby. While Juno was about a teenage pregnancy which ended in the girl giving up her baby for adoption, Baby Mama focuses on an infertile woman who pays someone to serve as a surrogate mother. Both Juno and Baby Mama seem to send a message regarding unattached pregnancies. In Juno, the teenager carries the baby and then hands it off to someone else for adoption. Movies have always been tagged with pregnancy, but never before in this way. We see movies where babies are “accidents” from a drunken night, such as in Knocked Up. In Juno, a teenage girl was accidentally impregnated, and just before having an abortion the teen changes her mind, and starts looking for a family who would adopt it. And in Baby Mama the surrogate mother gets paid to become pregnant and carry a baby which she will give away after the birth. This recent explosion of pregnancy taking over the movie screens has produces many laughs, but could also be raising some concerns. Is the teen movie about pregnancy portraying the idea that abortion is okay or how about giving up your child and never seeing it again? BCC student Alexa Burns does not think that Juno or Baby Mama is a bad influence on kids, if anything it makes kids realize that “unsafe sex can lead to some pretty hard times”, having to deal with parents, the glances at school in the hallway, and giving up the child in the end would be too hard. Yet another series of comedies are being released, this time they are pot- centric and have become a new cash crop for Hollywood; between movie theater hits and blockbuster rentals, this genre has generated more than $400 million in domestic box office in the last 10 years. There has been casual drug use in movies before Harold and Kumar, Knocked up, and the upcoming Pineapple Express that is expected to hit theaters this summer. But pot use in movies continues to grow, more than ever before, and stoner movies are pushing farther into mainstream movies as well as the amount of drug use. All these stoner movies could be sending the wrong messages to young viewers, when is it time to stop lighting up start growing up? Surely the major movie labels do not want to be promoting drug use, but that is most likely the only thing that will be going through parents’ minds as they see these movies being released. Although all different kinds of audiences find these new movies enjoyable and get a good laugh out of them, this new wave of cinema hits could be supporting some controversial subjects. Daily drug use, abortions and being paid to carry another women’s baby can be seen many of these new movies, and maybe that’s not such a good thing. Burns believes that maybe this is actually a good thing, “if we can laugh about these sensitive subjects, then maybe people will start to realize that maybe they aren’t so horrible.” So maybe these new box office hits are more than just a good laugh, they contain subjects that may have a good affect on everyday living in our societies.

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