So I didn’t know quite what to make of it when I read a bit in Entertainment Weekly where Owen Gleiberman alleged that Raising Arizona is the movie that let the “quirky” Genie out of the bottle, leading a path to Juno, which is, you guessed it, the last movie we saw together.
Now, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger connoisseur of the offbeat than me. Nor do I mind Raising Arizona being labeled the progenitor, or even the godfather, of quirky movies, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Yes, it uses language that pushes well past probability that the people saying it would be saying it, but for the fact that they’re in this Coen-verse of a film. But RA never flashes its badge of quirk as proof of its hipster bona fides. It’s a treasure trove of quotable lines, but no one says anything that’s going to make you wish you were guy saying it. And that’s where I think the genetic relationship with Raising Arizona parts company and Gleiberman’s comparison becomes one of apples and orangutans. What bugs me, is the implication that somehow by starting the quirky snowball rolling, Raising Arizona is to blame for the sins of Juno. And let me tell you: Juno has a lot of atoning to do.
In case it isn’t already clear, Juno drove me just batshit crazy. There was plenty to love about it; and I would even go so far as to call Oscar-worthy in places: the characters, rather than being extruded from some
I can’t help but wonder how painful it’ll be to watch Juno in five years. Don’t think so? I’ve got three words: The Breakfast Club. I know pop culture is by nature ephemeral, but this is severe, debilitating myopia of Magoo proportions. It certainly doesn’t help when Diablo Cody drops all the same references to Dario Argento et al. in her EW column that the precocious heroine does in the movie. Diablo? Seriously? You're obviously very bright and have a great gift for observation. But stop trying so hard. Chillax, as the kids say. Not every line has to end up on a bumper sticker. I appreciate the attempt to authentically capture the zeitgeist, or show just how dialed into it you are. But you have to spread it out a little. Or temper it with some self-effacing irony. I know it can be done. John Hughes figured it out somewhere between TBC and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I'm sure you can too.