Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Terminally Unhip, or How Veronica Stole My Mojo

Janna and I finally caught the Hip Train last week and watched "A Fresh, Unusually Intelligent Comedy," according to Roger Ebert and the DVD case. Now here's a question - why capitalize all the words in the quote? Did he actually actually do that when he wrote it? Can we just capitalize that stuff on a whim for the sake of a DVD case? Doesn't that violate some sort of quotation law? Susan Wink would frown, methinks.

(here's where John takes a breath and lassos himself back to the point)

So, Janna and I finally caught the Hip Train last week and watched "A Fresh, Unusually Intelligent Comedy," according to Roger Ebert and the DVD case. The movie, of course, was Juno and since we were the last Americans other than my parents to see the greatest movie of all time, Ellen Page's evil plan for world domination is well on its way.

Here's the rub: I thought it was just ok. Not earth-moving, not gag-inducing, just ok. It was kind of funny in parts, but then, so was Dodgeball. It was nicely directed, but then, so was Winter Passing. It had some touching moments, but then, so does the Lifetime Movie Network.

But the dialogue, oh, the dialogue, that witty, hipster, smarmy-nonsense, make-up-words-to-be-annoyingly-clever, dialogue. I felt like I was watching Univision with my rudimentary Spanish - I got weary of having to interpret everything. Maybe I'm just lazy, but it seemed like too much work. Maybe it's old age setting in. In fact, I got way more pleasure from the Allison Janney character than I did from Ellen Page or Michael Cera.

I say all of that to get to this story.

I was in Borders last night ordering some coffee concoction that cost way too much and didn't really taste all that great anyway, and the girl behind the counter (Veronica) had purple streaks in her hair and a nose piercing - not a sexy nose ring, just one of those sparkly studs that look like hanging boogers. She also had a Juno sticker on her name tag. So I said (because I talk to everybody - it drives Janna crazy), "Hey, I finally saw that movie a few days ago. It wasn't bad." Well apparently to her, "wasn't bad" was utter blasphemy - you'd have thought I just made a joke about drowning puppies or killing the Pope, or something. "Not bad? Not bad? Juno is the greatest movie of the 21st century! I saw it 8 times in the theater - of course, my cousin works at the Pinnacle, so I get in free, but still. It should have won Best Picture, no doubt."

I was taken aback a bit by the passion of her argument, to say the least. So I did what any self-respecting jerk would do - I pulled the salt out of my pocket and dumped it on the wound I had made. "Really, best movie of the 21st century? It wasn't even the best movie this year. No Country for Old Men? There Will Be Blood? Both better. In fact, I think I liked National Treasure 2 better. "

(While I was having my fun, the other girl behind the counter was watching us like she expected Veronica to fly over the counter and stab me through the heart with a biscotti)

"National Treasure 2. National. Treasure. 2. You think National Treasure 2 was better than Juno. Seriously? How old are you?"

I thought for a second about how best to respond. By this time my latte was ready, so I could have just taken it and run for my life. But I've never been one to flee from a stupid, utterly pointless argument. So I said, "How old do you think I am?"

And she said this. I am not making this up. I promise that she, Veronica, who pours chai tea at the Borders in West Knoxville, actually allowed these words to pass her lips. She looked right at me with an air of extreme supremacy and disgust, and said:

"Obviously too old to appreciate true art."

Game. Set. Match.

As there is no possible retort to this statement, I took my overpriced beverage and fled the scene. It'll be only Barnes & Noble for me now.


the hamster said...

this story is great, until you walk away. i mean, dude, you already retorted her once with a nicholas cage title - what do you mean there "is no possible retort to this statement"? you are john barber. John F-bombing Barber. God made you to retort statements like that.

by the way, and this may really hurt your heart: i think ellen page is the greatest thing since sigorney weaver's first two ALIEN films. i'm just saying. i heart the ellen page something fierce.

the hamster said...

i meant to recommend HARD CANDY for the brilliance of the ellen page. some pretty bad dialogue, but she be creepy, yo. pure creepy. sometimes i shiver just looking at her now. thus, i heart her.

John Barber said...

I actually like Ellen Page - she was awesome on SNL a few weeks ago. Haven't seen Hard Candy, but I'll add it to the Queue (you may want to be careful recommending a movie that shares a title with a Counting Crows album - could hurt your karma).

I do realize that there were possible retorts, I guess. There just aren't any that would have been profitable. It was a lose/lose deal for me...

Capt. Flipout said...

Welcome to the club. This is how I feel when I listen to the "screamo" band for which my 15 year old son is lead ?vocalist?

Doubtful Muse said...

Welcome to the club, Coz. It only gets worse. About 10 years ago, I was told by one of my young co-workers, who while complaining about the unfairness of me having a better office than him, that he supposed it was alright since I was technically old enough to be his mother. The only thing I could think of to say was some lame thing to the effect that if I were being asked to make a parental judgment, I was in favour of corporal punishment. It was sad.

Sherry said...

I'm so disappointed. We love us some Juno over here.

rico said...

I did love Juno, the say-too-much-to-say-a-little-just-to-sound-cool dialogue only got on my nerves for the 1st 5 minutes, I got past it. You shouldn't have to get past something for a movie to be great though should you?

I can't believe you let a bookstore barista house you like that, for shame!

Teela said...

I think that Ron and I might skip the Juno scene....after all...what's wrong w/National Treasure II? And I'm counting the days til Indiana Jones makes the screen.

Teela said...
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