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Raanan vs the CLASSICS (pt. 3 of 6) – JUNO

JUNO is the third of the 6 classics my irascible cousin simply cannot stand.

By now you know the drill: my cousin has been trying to correct your flawed opinion of the movies you love. Why? Maybe it’s because he wants you to let go of the other people’s opinions that have infected you. Or maybe it’s because he’s working on his curmudgeon cred for later on in life. Either way, today Raanan takes on that ray of impregnable sunshine (or is it pregnable?) that is Jason Reitman’s 2007 hit comedy, Juno.

“Overrated Movie #4- JUNO

If the message in Easy Rider is, “You’re only cool if you’re a hippie,” then in Juno it’s been altered to fit with the times: “You’re only cool if you’re a hipster.” So you better start spouting quirky phrases with spoonfuls of ironic enthusiasm (“Yo-yo-yiggady-yo”), have a witty, pre-written line ready to fire back at all times, sprinkle your conversations with references to both mainstream and obscure culture (that way you show you’re far too complex to be pigeon-holed as either a populist or a snob), pretend to smoke a pipe because it makes you look kooky, mix youthful colloquialism with archaic words (“Basically, I’m completely smitten with you”) and care so little for what other people think that walking through a high school hallway 7 months into your pregnancy doesn’t phase you in the least. Juno would have been a funny character if screenwriter Diablo Cody ever felt the urge to poke fun at some of her pretensions, instead of glorifying her at every turn. But light mockery is an aspect typically found in comedy, while Juno is pure unadulterated fantasy; a girl’s revision of her high school days, where all the awkwardness, insecurities, and desperate need for approval have been conveniently replaced with heroic self-assurance and wit. People can watch this movie and pretend they were just as clever and aloof as Juno back in their day, and sweep the fact we all wanted to be accepted by the Popular Crowd under some mental rug for later. And yet, for all its hip liberal posturing, the movie’s core values are straight conservative, yo – all women are incomplete without children, Jason Bateman’s character is a bad man because he doesn’t want a baby, and – when Juno’s precocious resilience finally gives way to doubt, she naturally goes to her father for some Wise Adult Platitudes: “My opinion is, you should love someone because they see you exactly the way you are.” (Oh wow – I always thought you should love someone because of their completely distorted image of you). The truth is that Juno is elitist the same way J.D. Salinger was – everyone outside of her small circle of friends are lumped together as dull conformists, and the movie invites the audience to join in on this kind of snobbish compartmentalizing, allowing us to feel like the few rare individuals who actually get the non-mainstream humor on display. But of course the joke’s on the viewer – because everyone fucking likes this movie.”

Here’s a funny website about hipsters.

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