- Asian Cinema

Jenny Juno intro image

Original Title

Jeni, Juno


South Korea




Kim Ho-jun
- My Little Bride (2004)


Park Min-ji
- The Peter Pan Formula (2005)

Kim Hye-sung
- Gangster High (2006)

DVD Availability

Available on DVD from YesAsia:

Link to YesAsia

Jenny, Juno


I've had this film sitting on the shelf since its original release. I finally got around to seeing it, because rumors started to emerge on the internet that this somehow was the inspiration for the Oscar winning American film "Juno". So before we get into the particulars of this film, let's address this issue.

To put it simply: NO. No, this film has not served as inspiration for "Juno". These films share two things: One, one of the characters is named Juno. However in the Korean film that name belongs to the boy in the story, whereas in the American film Juno is the name of the central female character. Two, both films deal with teen pregnancy. They don't, however share any scenes, dialogue, characters, plot points or anything else. And let's face it: these two films are not the only ones in existence to deal with this subject. Anyone still claiming that "Juno" is a rip-off of "Jenny, Juno" clearly hasn't seen both films. Thus ends the discussion.


"Jenny, Juno" deals, as mentioned above with teen pregnancy. In the very first scene we see Jenny take a pregnancy test, which turns out to be positive, she rushed to school to tell her boyfriend Juno about this, and off we go.

Very quickly the two young lovers decide to keep the baby and to keep it a secret as long as they can. As the weeks pass and Jenny's belly slowly grows, the moment - when they have no choice, but to tell their parents - draws ever nearer.


As previously stated on these pages I absolutely adore Korean teen films. They can (almost) do no wrong in my eyes.

"Jenny, Juno" doesn't do anything wrong either. The problem is that it doesn't do anything at all. The subject matter alone should lend itself to a barrage of quarrels, but in fact the only crisis on the horizon for our teen couple is how they're going to spring the news on their parents. Since the kids hide their condition the first half of the film and pretend everything is okay, there's no conflict and not much drama. That makes for an oddly passive film. On top of this Juno is completely supportive and tends to his girlfriend's every need, making sure she stays healthy and in good spirits. At one point Jenny gets jealous when another girls shows interest in Juno, but that conflict is wrapped up pretty quickly.

With no conflict - and for natural reasons the big showdown is tugged away months into the future - the film doesn't know what to do with itself. It spends most of the time reveling in the cuteness of its titular couple (and OMG they are sooooo cute), garnishing the frail plot with dreamy soft-focus flashback scenes, where Jenny and Juno meet, court, and fall in love.

One awkward - if not surprising - aspect of this film is the complete absence of sex. Of course this being a Korean teen film we can't very well have a juicy sex scene, but in fact we get no sex scene at all. The couple manage an embarrassed peck on the cheek once or twice, but that's it. We don't get the sense that they ever had sex together or even that they are sexually active, so how these two ever managed to produce an offspring is something for the books.

"Jenny, Juno" wastes an opportunity to attack a serious problem and embrace some serious drama. Korean teen films usually don't have a problem mixing bubble gum romance with the cold harsh realities of life, which makes this film's lax treatment of its central problem all the more curious.

Having said that "Jenny, Juno" is not a bad film, it's not even as boring as it should be, considering the total lack of drama, and the fact that the only thing it offers is a cute couple, prancing around in a fairytale world with almost no worries. Since they really are unbelievably cute they managed to keep me interested anyway, but truthfully I don't see that happening for too many other viewers.

David Bjerre
April 19, 2008