"Rushmore" to "Juno"

Wes Anderson started the teen-outcast, indie-hipster loving sub-genre with 1998's "Rushmore". Thankfully, there was a lot of depth to this film and I still think it's Anderson's best movie to date (including "No Country For Old Men"). Since its release, writers and directors have repeatedly stolen its framework, watered it down for a wider audience and reinvented it. But the problem is that these half-assed sequels have little in common with "Rushmore" aside from its basic ingredients: super-intelligent teen outcast who's years ahead of himself in knowledge of the arts, a solid indie soundtrack borrowing equally from under-appreciated acts of the 60s and 70s to today's more obscure acts, out-of-touch parents/role models who are awash in idiosyncracies.

What made me think of this? Well, first it was after the release of "Garden State". The indie community drooled at this overly-precious piece-of-crap of a film. (Remember Natalie Portman tossing the headphones on Zach Braff's head and bellowing, "this will change your life"? Ugh.) It was a direct rip-off of "Rushmore", yet contained very little humor and almost no substance. The protagonist was just another hip, anti-depressant popping teen in a hoodie. Yawn.

Then came Part 3 in "Little Miss Sunshine". Once again the family was a wreck, the teen was a brilliant outcast and the soundtrack was great.

And this year, the sub-genre has finally hit the masses with "Juno". Despite being nominated for Best Picture (yikes), this is likely the weakest of the four. Once again: teen outcast, loves the arts (oh wow, she knows The Stooges *and* Mott the Hoople), dysfunctional, idiosyncratic family (an obsession with dogs was a bit light, but still) and the happy ending. Yawn.

Now that you've finally hit the masses, can the studios finally put this movie to bed? I mean, they didn't even change the name, yet I'd still rather go see "Rambo".