At the age of 30, Jason Reitman has directed a half dozen short films, two narrative features, and an episode of The Office. He has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing. He is beyond the usual Hollywood definition of "hot": he is, thanks to the runaway success of Juno, superheated, like the molten core of the sun.

At the age of 30, his father, Ivan Reitman, had directed one short film and two narrative features (the immortal Foxy Lady and Cannibal Girls). At that point of his career, it is safe to say he was as far from "hot" as possible: he was as cold as the far side of the moon, at least as far as Hollywood was concerned. Three years later, the success of Meatballs, especially in relation to its budget and its recognition as the one that made Bill Murray a film star, warmed things up for the senior Reitman, in much the same way that Thank You For Smoking would later warm up his son's career, raising expectations.

Thus it's interesting to compare Ivan Reitman's follow-up, Stripes, with his son's follow-up, Juno. Strictly in financial terms, Stripes was comparable to Juno, earning $85 million in 1981, a year in which only nine films broke the $50 million mark. (To be fair, Juno's budget, at $2.5 million, was only 1/4 of Stripes' reported budget.) Stripes wasn't nominated for any Academy Awards and Ivan has never been nominated, so that gives a leg up for Jason, but that's more a reflection of the Academy's malleable taste than any intrinsic merit. Though Stripes is remembered as a broad, mainstream comedy, I'd argue that it's just as edgy and independent as Juno, and displays some of the same borderline reactionary leanings as the newer film.
categories Features, Cinematical