Teenage pregnancy is quite a serious topic. And it comes as no surprise that the government and media conduct events and conferences to address the issue. Hollywood, has helped the cause, in its own special way. So, every few years, production houses churn out a teenage pregnancy movie to raise awareness for the next generation of teens.
Here is Momjunction’s compilation of 15 teen pregnancy movies that also impart some valuable lessons. They are a mixed bag; hard-hitting drama to rib-tickling comedy, it’s all here. Check them out below.
“Juno” is a delightful movie on teenage pregnancy. Juno, a quirky, high school student, and her best friend Bleaker have sex and Juno gets pregnant. Instead of going for an abortion, Juno takes it all in her stride and decides to give birth to the baby and then give it up for adoption. That’s how she meets Mark and Vanessa Loring, a young and affluent couple who desperately wants to have a child, but are out of luck.
This endearing movie is rife with cameos by some A-listers. But what makes “Juno” so appealing and entertaining is its comedy. The humor is not over the top or outrageous. Instead, it gives witty and honest dialogue, which will make you laugh and smile. Lastly, the remarkable performance by Ellen Page takes “Juno” into realms of being special.
2. For Keeps:
“For Keeps” is coming of age film starring Randall Batinkoff, and Molly Ringwald as Stan and Darcy. High school lovebirds Darcy and Stan were having a blissful life together until Darcy discovers that her girlfriend is pregnant. The parents start panicking about their children’s future and advise them to go for abortion, but the teens decide to keep the baby. After a series of misunderstandings and poor decisions, the duo break up. But after realizing that their parents were influencing them, the couple then tries to find a way to get back to each other. In the end, everything falls in places as all the threads come together-marriage, love, parenthood, family acceptance, college plans and of course, scholarship.
[ Read: Medical Risks Of Teenage Pregnancy ]
3. Coal Miner’s Daughter:
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” is a biography of Loretta Lynn, played by Sissy Spacek. Loretta Lynn gets married at the age of 13, has four kids by the time she’s 20 and is a grandmother at the age of 29.
Naïve and Shy Loretta was pushed into music by her husband Doolittle, who gave her a guitar instead of a ring for the wedding. Her first single hit at the age of 34, and she went on to become one of the biggest country music legends of all time. Her strength helped her create numerous singles, but her weakness delivered the immortal songs. During her career, Loretta also tracked the love-hate relationship with her husband. The movie teaches us that one should never give up on their dreams. We can overcome even the most turbulent challenges with perseverance.
All the actors gave their own voices in the singing scene, which we think is amazing. Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for her stellar performance in the film. She mimicked Lynn’s voice nearly perfectly. You’ll love the country music legend, and Ernest Tub’s wonderful cameo.
“Precious,” a movie based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, is inspiring film about the human’s ability to grow and overcome.
It’s a story about Precious (Gabourey Sidibe), a 16-year-old, overweight, African-American abused teenager with a mentally challenged baby. In the movie, she is pregnant for the second time by her absent father and is abused physically and emotionally by her angry mother. Even the school is a place of chaos for Precious. She reached her 9th standard, but with a secret, she can neither read nor write.
Beneath the impassive child, is a curious, young woman with a strong feeling that other possibilities exist for her. Precious always imagines a charming place where she can escape. Threatened with expulsion, Precious gets a chance to transfer to an alternative school. Precious does not even know the meaning of alternative, but her instincts inform her that it’s the opportunity for her. She is taken to a literacy workshop, where Ms. Rain starts teaching her. Thus begins her life’s journey from pain, darkness, and powerlessness to love, light, and self-determination.
Through a long process, Precious is reunited with her first baby, which gives her hope for a stable future with both her children. She later gets to finish her education without the interference of her mother. Note- Keep a tissue box handy as this movie will pull out all of your emotions.
The movie “Saved” is an assortment of religious satire, humor, and of course, teen pregnancy. Mary, an obedient Christian girl, starts senior year at the American Eagle Christian High School with her best friend, Hilary Faye. Everything was fine until her boyfriend tells her that he might be gay. Soon after, Jesus appears in her dream, saying, “do everything you can to help your boyfriend.” To save him from homosexuality, Mary sacrifices her virginity to her boyfriend, Dean. But to her horrors, she gets pregnant.
Mary then begins to question everything that she believed. Even her best friend turns against her. She finds herself alone until she is befriended by some of the other pariahs of the school. These students gang up to fight injustice and make it to the graduation. In the process, the pariahs learn about themselves, finding faith in strange places and grasping what it truly means to be Saved.
6. Where The Heart Is:
“Where The Heart Is” is romantic-drama movie starring Natalie Portman, Stockard Channing, Joan Cusack and Ashley Judd. It’s based on the novel by Billie Letts. This sweet movie explores how having a child can give an uplifting experience to a woman.
The film follows the life of Novalee, a 17-year-old pregnant teenager who is ditched by her boyfriend in Wal-Mart, on their way to California. She then decides to stay in Oklahoma and raise her daughter all by herself. So she sneaks into the Wal-Mart and lives there secretly. She even gives birth in the Wal-Mart, which attracts the attention of the media. With the help of her new friends, Novalee starts a new life in Oklahoma. An intellectual and academically brilliant man falls with Novalee. Novalee now has to make a decision of her life, on which she is assisted by an unlikely source.
[ Read: Teenage Pregnancy Poems ]
7. Riding In Cars With Boys:
“Riding in Cars with Boys,” starring Drew Barrymore is a true story based on the autobiography by Beverly Donofrio and her experience of teenage motherhood. Set in the 1950s, the movie is about a young girl Beverly whose life does not turn out as expected.
Beverly, an energetic teenager was her daddy’s beloved. She believed that her passion for writing would one day take her out from the small town she resides in. Beverly loves boys too, but knows her limits. She had restricted herself that she will never go below the waist if she doesn’t know the boy. But is swept off the feet when she meets Ray, a sweet-natured young man. Shortly after meeting the boy, she becomes pregnant. Forced by her father, Beverly decides to marry Ray.
Soon after, Beverly finds herself living in a shabby home, with no money, no career, a baby to bring up and a drug addict husband. Despite the whole world going against her, she builds a life for herself, refusing to settle for what she has.
Drew Barrymore has given a credible performance as an American-Italian mother who is far too smart to be stuck in any situation, even if it is challenging. But Steve Zahn steals the show with his portrayal of a little boy who could never find his way to manhood. And what makes the movie set apart is its subject that focuses on teenage pregnancy in an era where it was shunned.
8. How To Deal:
“How To Deal” is a romantic comedy film based on the two novels by Sarah Dessen, “Someone Like You” and “That Summer”. Halley, a young, hip high school student is disillusioned with love after seeing dysfunctional relationships around her. Her father is getting married to a woman that she cannot even stand, her mom is staying alone, her school friends care only about football and cheerleading and her sister’s wedding plan are gradually taking over her life. And to top it all, her best friend is pregnant.
Everything was going awry until she meets a boy who teaches her what love is all about. Falling in love made life only harder for her. But gradually, she realizes that true love happens under the most unusual circumstances.
“Unexpected” is a heartwarming movie that focuses on pregnancy at its core. A teacher in a school in Chicago finds her pregnant suddenly. Within a few days, she finds out that one of her best students is also pregnant. The teacher-student duo develops an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their pregnancies.
[ Read: Shocking Facts About Teen Pregnancy ]
10. Sugar And Spice:
“Sugar and Spice” is a lighthearted movie with teenage pregnancy as the central theme. Diane, the airheaded captain of the cheerleading team has a squad that follows whatever she does. Her boyfriend Jack is football team’s star quarterback. When Diane becomes pregnant with Jack’s child, the kids are thrown out of their home.
The couple moves into an apartment and take up a part-time job at a video store while attending the high school. Still finding difficult to make the ends meet, Diane recruits her fellow cheerleader to help her rob a bank. The cheerleader and her band get guns from a local hood, who agrees to give them the weapons in exchange for putting his daughter on the cheerleading squad. They even watch heist films to learn how to rob the banks. The gang makes off with loads of cash and celebrates by burning their costume. But things turn sour for Diane when Lisa, her rival finds out about the robbery, followed by the FBI.
11. 17 Girls:
“17 Girls” is a French movie based on the pregnancy pact that took place at Gloucester High School in 2008. The same movie was also made into the film “The Pregnancy Pact”. It follows the story of Camille, who accidentally becomes pregnant. 16 of her friends also decide to get pregnant at the same time, making a pact in solidarity.
The girls dream of living together in a house where all the kids can grow up as brothers and sisters. They decide that they will not comply with any traditional code of conduct. They even decide to educate their children in the form of a ‘hippie community’. In the end, Camilla loses her baby in a car accident. She leaves the town without telling the other girls. The rest 16 girls do have the baby, but do not form a community.
“Daddy” is an educational teenage pregnancy movie centering on Bobby (Dermot Mulroney) who is just like most of the teenage boys. This good looking boy with just sex on his mind persuades his girlfriend to sleep with him. Two months later, he gets a shock of his life with Stacy tells him that she is pregnant.
When the couple’s parents get to know about it, they try to convince them for an abortion, but Stacy insists on keeping the baby, which forces Bobby to buck up and take the responsibilities for his actions. But they learn quickly that being teen parents is not as fun as they thought it would be, with so many bills to pay and mouths to feed.
“Daddy” is a realistic movie for its time when teens were not given sex education and parents were uncomfortable talking about sex with their kids. So there was quite an incredible amount of naivety when it came to sex, as shown in the movie. It also effectively portrays the stress that teens trying to be parents face.
13. Fifteen And Pregnant:
“Fifteen And Pregnant” is another teen pregnancy movie focusing on the situation from the teen’s point of view. It takes us in the middle of the family situation and shows how everyone gets affected by it.
Tina Spangler, (Kirsten Dunst), a 15year old girl was having a fun-filled life. Everything was going fine until her boyfriend dumps her after sleeping with her. She becomes pregnant soon after. Faced with a choice between abortion, adoption and becoming a teen mother, Tina begins to break down. It’s here when Tina’s estranged parents come together for her help.
14. Freshman Father:
“Freshman Father” is a cute, entertaining and inspiring movie about teenage pregnancy. Kathy (Britt Irvin) feels that her boyfriend John will soon forget her after getting into Harvard University and will end up with a girl from the same university. So she risks everything and becomes pregnant. Being an honorable person, John marries Kathy so that she can go with him to Harvard, where they will raise the baby together.
The shine of being married soon fizzles as John struggles with his studies and Kathy finds having nothing to do. Things get worse for Kathy when the baby is born. Unable to cope up with things, Kathy leaves him alone with the son, adding to his pressures. You’ll love the way John handles things in a humorous way.
[ Read: Teenage Pregnancy Statistics ]
15. Mom At Sixteen:
Jacey, a 16-year-old teenager has a secret, and she hopes to keep that away having just started a new school. The secret is that she is a teen mother, who, having had a baby, heads to school with her mother Terry. But it becomes difficult for everyone when Donna Cooper, Jacey’s guidance counselor learns the truth about Jacey when she collapses at the school.
Flashback- When Jacey tells her mother about her pregnancy, life totally changes for them. She agrees to her mother’s condition of putting the baby for adoption. But when the baby is born, she changes her mind, stating that she cannot part with the baby. Terry then decides that they will keep it a secret from everyone and will raise the child.
“Mom At Sixteen” is a well-acted movie and gives a message about both pregnant teen and motherhood. It portrays the difficulty of teenage pregnancy, not just from a young girl, but also those involved in it.
Each of the movies listed above is entertaining, but more importanty, and they all carry the underlying message of teen pregnancy. So if you want to have a movie night while teaching your kids about this important topic, rent any of these movies and get going.
Is there any other teenage pregnancy-themed movie that we should have included in this list? And which of the above movies is your favorite? Share your choice with us in the comment section below!
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