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We See Chick Flicks: “Jennifer’s Body”

Starring Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried and Amy Sedaris
Directed by Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight”)
Written by Diablo Cody

Please, please, please don’t read other movie reviews of “Jennifer’s Body.” I can tell you what the 50-year-old white men who write them are going to say:

Megan Fox can’t act.
Diablo Cody‘s dialogue sounds like “Juno”!
It’s a horror movie but it’s not that scary.
Nice kissing scene!
Good soundtrack, though.
The end.

Very original, guys! Good job. If you want the real scoop on “Jennifer’s Body,” read on …The Lowdown: True, it’s awkward to hear Juno’s words coming out of Megan Fox‘s mouth yet, in a way, that underscores the point that this flick is obviously campy. It’s fun. It’s sexy. It’s fresh. It’s a popcorn movie. It’s neither a particularly good horror movie nor a particularly good comedy, but I thought “Jennifer’s Body” was something even better: a flick that doesn’t suck in all the ways feminist-minded peeps have come to expect horror movies and comedies to suck.

“Jennifer’s Body” is the story of two girls in high school who aren’t so similar anymore as they grow older. Jennifer, the school sexpot (Fox), is a lit wire, a little bitchy, a daredevil, and her mousy best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), doesn’t think she’s always acting so intelligently. However, Needy and Jennifer have been friends since their sandbox days and, as the grownups in their lives seem pretty distracted and clueless, Needy looks out for Jennifer. There isn’t a pettiness to their friendship; it’s not like “Mean Girls.” Jennifer’s so gorgeous and charismatic, though, that you get the sense Needy’s a little in awe of, maybe even in love with, her. I sat there watching, thinking, Damn, I had friendships like that.

One night, the girls see a band perform at a local bar and Jennifer hops in the guys’ van after the show, despite the fact Needy says not to. Hours pass and she starts freaking out, worrying what happened to her friend. Needy suspects it’s just Jennifer being Jennifer again, but when Jennifer shows up at Needy’s house later that night, something’s really off: She shoves her against the wall, screaming, stuffs food into her mouth and throws up all over the kitchen floor. Jennifer leaves all of a sudden and then shows up at school the next day as if nothing’s wrong. Bipolar much?

In the following weeks, Needy’s asking herself WTF is going on more and more, but Jennifer can’t, or won’t, explain why she’s being so erratic. Meanwhile, their male classmates are dying left and right. After consulting some library books on the occult, Needy figures out what really happened to her friend that night: Jennifer’s been possessed by a demon and she’s been killing the boys in town one by one to feed herself.

Crazy, right? Needy’s boyfriend doesn’t believe that theory at all—he thinks Jennifer’s always been aloof and irresponsible and Needy should talk to a therapist, stat! But Needy suspects he’ll get killed by bloodthirsty Jennifer, too, because she’s got this weird power trip over Needy and killing another girl’s boyfriend is the kind of bitch move she’d make. Needy realizes she’s got to take Jennifer down herself—with a knife to the heart.

The Verdict: So! Let’s talk about the Megan Fox/Amanda Seyfried make-out session. Is it a gratuitous pretty-girls-kissing scene? Truly, no, it’s really just a kiss between two female friends who used to be really close, as one of them acknowledges that their friendship is ending. It’s more charged with drama and intensity than anything else. I’m inclined to believe what the screenwriter herself said when I interviewed Diablo Cody about “Jennifer’s Body” a few weeks ago:

“If the two protagonists of the film were a guy and a girl and in a particularly tense moment, they shared a kiss, no one would say it was gratuitous. But the fact that they’re women means it’s some kind of stunt. It was intended to be something profound and meaningful to me and to Karyn [Kusama, the director]. Obviously we knew people were going to totally sensationalize it. They’re beautiful girls, the scene is hot—I’m not afraid to say that. There is a sexual energy between the girls which is kind of authentic, because I know when I was a teenaged girl, the friendships that I had with other girls were almost romantic, they were so intense. I wanted to sleep at my friend’s house every night, I wanted to wear her clothes, we would talk on the phone until our ears ached. I wanted to capture that heightened feeling you get as an adolescent that you don’t really feel as a grownup. (laughs) You like your friends when you’re a grownup but you don’t need to sleep in the same bed with them and talk to them on the phone until 5 a.m. every night.”

Yeah, it’s true. The kissing scene does add an authentic element to the girls’ friendship. Not every kiss between two women is a HOT HOT HOT LESBIAN KISS just for male satisfaction. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is “profound,” like Cody did, but as a wise Frisky commenter once said, Diablo, “I’m picking up what you’re putting down!”

All in all, I really dug “Jennifer’s Body,” but not everyone will. So, let’s do a little weeding out, shall we? Don’t see this movie if you hated the dialogue in “Juno,” you’re inclined to bitch about Megan Fox’s acting skills, or you’re a hardcore horror film fan, OK? You have to have an elastic sense of humor for “Jennifer’s Body”—and honestly, I think a lot of “grownups” aren’t going to get it. Sticklers for the standards of the genres should spend their money on something else; moviegoers who like awesomeness should stay here.

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