Don’t check your privilege, CELEBRATE IT with these great white movies. These are some of the greatest white people movies that really show the true struggle of growing up white in America. The struggle is real, brah…. the struggle is real.
White people get this, they know. We got problems too, very serious white people problems. In 2007 Diablo Cody was daring enough to write a screenplay to show the world the terrible woes suffered by white teenagers. Could not have found a better director for this project than Jason Reitman – son of Ivan Reitman (really, why didn’t I include his white people classics like Ghostbusters II, Kindergarten Cop, or Junior). Yeah the script is full of terribly stylized dialogue, a casual take on abortion, horribly naïve and unconvincing characters nastily conferring a sickening brand of hipness on teens that make kids want to use this made up slang and buy this “i heard of them before they were cool’ soundtrack. White People Critic Roger Ebert, however, said this was “just about the best movie of the year,” because he gets it, he gets that white-exclusive struggle of being fifteen years old and having a hard time talking to your OB/GYN on your Hamburger Phone.
When this movie came out pregnant white teens were everywhere. 17 students under sixteen years of age at a Gloucester, Massachusetts high school became pregnant, probably with gangling little Michael Cera babies (hey, he was the Woody Allen of the 21st century and that is some hot, HOT white people shit right there). Even Sarah Palin’s then seventeen year old daughter, Bristol, became pregnant at this time, because of Juno, which according to Fox News’s Roger Friedman ‘Juno… vindicates conservative values… the public will rally ’round Bristol Palin the way it did for Juno.” Time magazine referred to this sudden increase of pregnant white girls as “the Juno effect,” and according to Kristelle Miller, an Adolescent Psychology Professor at University of Minnesota-Duluth, “the Juno effect is how media glamorizes pregnancy and how pregnancy is also redemptive of any past problems.”
You hear that, Spike Lee? There’s our white people reparations for that whole slave thing generations ago – pregnancy is redemptive of any past problems. Like Jesus dying on the cross for humanity, Juno’s little Michael Cera baby is the Great White Redeemer.
This is like required viewing for all white women. There’s an entire network, Lifetime: Television for White Women, that has spent decades making clones of Steel Magnolias. This passionate story of women and their beauty salon in Louisiana is a celebration of white life in the American South. Darryl Hannah, Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Shirley Maclaine, Tom Skerritt, Dylan McDermott and Julia Roberts. Every woman cries at this movie when Julia Roberts dies young and tragically from diabetes. We’re about to lose Wilford Brimley to that crippling disease as well, too many lives claimed by that disease; diabetes is like White-AIDS.
Yes Steel Magnolias is incredibly manipulative and wantonly yanks on heartstrings like a demented puppeteer, (“Pull The String!”). Based on a wonderful little stageplay which had a small all-female cast and true heart, the film stuffs in needless characters, confusing situations, and too many extra monologues about middle-aged white lady woe. But white people need to be forced into feeling upset because we’re a tough people. We need the feels, we need the cries, we need a movie like Steel Magnolias to take to our safe spaces and just hug. “I love you Julia Roberts diabetes movie.”
They did a remake of this movie in 2012, with Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard which had mixed reactions. Well of course it wouldn’t work – they tried to color up a keystone piece of white culture. No, you leave that kind of cultural appropriation to us – you let us make whitewashed remakes of other ethnic movies – because Ashton Kutcher did so great playing Sidney Poitier’s role in Guess Who.
[In all seriousness though, the stageplay actually is pretty good].
Only white people know these problems. Like being a teenage girl whose affair with a schoolteacher is ridiculed and the current government teacher doesn’t want to work closely with you anymore. There’s the struggle of being a popular high school quarterback suddenly given an unrequested blowjob by your lesbian sister’s girlfriend. Or being a white man in middle America going to a motel for a sexual liaison only to discover that she had second thoughts and told your wife. And there’s always the pain of being stung by a bee. Damn racist bees – always stinging the white man. These are the real problems of real white people in Alexander Payne’s great work, Election, made years before Payne gave us the great piece of white alcoholism known as Sideways.
In his description of the film, White People Critic Roger Ebert described this Nebraska high school as ‘…a student body that is mostly just marking time until it can go out into the world and occupy valuable space.” Valuable Space. Like in the film’s conclusion where Reese Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick attends Georgetown University and goes to work as a congressional aide. In the same way that movies like Training Day or Bruce Almighty gave hope and showed people of color in careers they can aspire for as well, the valuable space they can occupy. Election is almost educational in the way it shows how young white minds can achieve the most from their lives.
Pairs wonderfully well with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for a complete look at white potential and all those eager minds ready to occupy valuable space.