The Magazine

The Cool One

The target here is not the abortionist but the hipster.

Jan 28, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 19 • By JOHN PODHORETZ
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And that is the hidden, and profound, cultural conservatism at the heart of Juno. The movie's celebrated screenplay is by a first-timer named Diablo Cody, a 29-year-old with many tattoos and a nose stud who says she worked for a time as a stripper. Cody turns out to be a double agent, working not for the sex workers of the world or the independent-film lions of the Sundance Film Festival, but rather in the secret interest of America's unfashionable bourgeoisie.

The movie's bourgeoisie range from the too-earnest Vanessa to the devoted Paulie to the sacrificing shleps in Juno's family: her father, a military man turned air conditioning installer obsessed with Greek mythology, and her straight-talking stepmother, who loves dogs but can't have one because Juno is allergic to canine saliva. These people, oddballs all, make it possible for Juno to ditch the too-cool-for-school act and luxuriate, miraculously and touchingly, in a newfound innocence after her difficult and life-enhancing experience.

John Podhoretz, editorial director of Commentary, is THE WEEKLY STANDARD's movie critic.