How Jennifer Garner’s Divorce Mirrors That of Her Character in Juno

The tragic celebrity news of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck divorcing after the the ten year mark (a curse established by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) have left many speculating as to the reasons why, when recent interviews before the split indicated favorable vibes from both parties. The rumors of Affleck’s gambling and alcohol issues are just some of the alleged reasons behind the “amicable” divorce. Whatever the case, the entire thing smacks of Vanessa Loring’s (Garner) plight in Juno.

Jennifer Garner as Vanessa Loring
Jennifer Garner as Vanessa Loring

If devoted pop culture enthusiasts will remember correctly, Vanessa was married to ex “cool guy” Mark Loring (Jason Bateman), who is not half as enthusiastic when Juno (Ellen Page) shows up with the offer of her baby in response to their Penny Saver ad. Seen by Juno as the uptight square between the two of them, she immediately gravitates toward Mark, who shares her interests in music and camp horror movies. Like Jennifer Garner, Vanessa is deemed the bland one, the “responsible one.” But, ultimately, it was both their responsible natures that led to what was best for a child’s life.

offering her baby to an excited Vanessa & a reluctant Mark
offering her baby to an excited Vanessa & a reluctant Mark

Mark, preferring to return to a simpler, more single life, is perfectly fine with leaving Vanessa as the person in charge of what was to be their child. Affleck, too, seems to enjoy the no frills, uncomplicated trappings of bachelor existence (e.g. drinking and gambling). And while he is, in essence, vilified for not only being creepy and hitting on a pregnant 16-year-old, but also abandoning his wife, he is also something of a quiet hero for finally doing exactly what he wanted.

Ben & Jen: paralleling the marriage of Juno
Ben & Jen: paralleling the marriage of Juno

Maybe, in both of their own ways, Garner and Affleck have performed quiet acts of heroism in their marriage, for each one endured many things about the other they couldn’t stand (Garner also “sacrificed her career” to take care of their kids while Affleck was busy trying to win an Oscar). And, just as the Lorings, they finally had to go their separate ways.