Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jennifer's Body (2009)

Jennifer's Body takes the tragedy of the 2003 fire at the Station Nightclub and exploits the shit out of it. If the picture had been more than passable I might have been able to excuse it. I will say that the picture at least manages to empower women. Why do I say this? Because it's written by Diablo Cody (of Juno and former stripper fame) and also directed by a woman. So, we can assume it must be all about girl power and shit. Megan Fox is smoking hot and look at her use her awesome body to lure boys to their doom. She gives new meaning to the term "boyeater", which is a term I just made up. If Fox (as the titular character) were ugly then these boys would think twice about trying to get biblical with her. Well, maybe not (boys will fuck anything, even fresh out of the oven cherry pies - see, my schtick is referencing late 90s comedies) but that's not the point I'm trying to make. Also, Amanda Seyfried shines in the role of Jennifer's needy best friend Needy. Needy is ugly and boring. We know this cause she wears glasses. Take those glasses off and you wouldn't even recognize her. Needy is desperately in love with Jennifer, wants to be her, wants to probably have sex with her, stands up for her when the boys call her a slut, etc.

Oh, and the movie takes place in a town called, if I'm remembering correctly, Devil's Falls. It's called this because there's a waterfall in town and at the bottom of the waterfall there is a whirlpool that seemingly has no bottom and is apparently the portal to hell or something. Also, this is a picture about high school kids that are in their twenties which isn't very original. Anyway, we got this town called Devil's Falls and in this town are Jennifer and her friend Needy. One night, they go to a rock club on the outskirts of town where this hot new band is playing. They're called Low Shoulder and fronted by the witty Jewish kid that was in the O.C. He's the best part of the movie by far. Needy overhears the band talking about Jennifer, how the O.C. kid wants to fuck her and stuff because she looks like a slut. Or maybe they don't want to bother with her because of the sluttyness? Shit, what was it again? Anyway, bottom line is they called her a slut. Needy overhears and puts the O.C. kid in his place by saying that Jennifer's a virgin. Later, we learn that Jennifer isn't "even a backdoor virgin".

So, the O.C. boy is now interested in Jennifer. The band starts playing and a fire somehow starts behind the band, quickly envelops the walls, spreads through the club, pretty much kills everyone, etc. Except for Jennifer, Needy, and the band. O.C. guy shows up nonchalantly outside of the now smoldering club sipping on some whiskey and invites the girls to his van so he can "comfort" them by exposing them to the comfortably familiar surroundings of the interior of his van. Also, I guess his dick. Needy is against going as she's in shock and also a skittish prude. Jennifer is all for it though cause she is, after all, still a slut, albeit a moderately traumatized slut. She goes off with the band and appears later that night in Needy's kitchen covered in blood and vomiting up black oil which isn't normal. What's even less normal is when she develops an appetite for teenage boys. I'm glad that these fuckers could use the tragedy of 100 people dying horribly to craft a nuanced masterpiece about a girl that literally eats boys and that is also peppered with Dawson's Creek level witticisms such as "Who's Phil Collins?" Also, in response to an invite to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jennifer says "I don't like boxing movies" which is pretty much the definition of wit.

So, I didn't like it. I would have liked it a hell of a lot more if the picture had focused on the band but I don't think Diablo Cody is capable of writing that movie. Turns out (SPOILER) the band tried to make a deal with the devil so that they could sell more albums. They brought Jennifer to the town waterfall and were gonna sacrifice her to Satan on account of her being a virgin and all. Unfortunately, they didn't realize that Jennifer wasn't even a "backdoor virgin". If you sacrifice a slut you open said slut to demonic possession. She becomes a succubus, starts eating the football team, can float through the air, maybe even eats Needy's boyfriend (kid is slumming - she's heinous in those glasses), etc. Meanwhile, the band becomes famous based on the media attention given to the fire. So, I guess their immediate fate* is better than Great White's who lost a guitarist in their fire and also became more infamous than famous which is not a good thing I don't think. Also, how did the fire start? I initially thought Jennifer started it with her mind, but then I guess I didn't realize she was just "high school evil" at this point. Then I figured maybe it was Satan that started it. Either Satan or faulty wiring. One of those two.

Megan Fox and Amanda Seigfried weren't bad in their parts. Seigfried plays a decent "ugly" and neurotic girl. She almost fooled me. I liked when she finally decided Jennifer was actually like evil for reals and decided something had to be done about it. She even did some library research which is where she read up on succubi. No wikipedia in Diablo Cody's world of 70s and early 80s pop culture references that teenagers today would'nt even think about using. I liked this gimmick better in Juno because the characters in that picture were genuine. Doesn't work as well in a less serious, supposed to be cultish, possibly offensive (am I reaching with the Station comparison?), horror picture. Megan Fox is better here than in Transmorphers I and II but this performance still doesn't set the world on fire. Nope, just a dingy little nightclub on the outskirts of some fake town.

*watch the credits for their ultimate fate which, in the movie's defense, is worse than Great White's (which, admittedly, hasn't been totally decided yet)


d said...

I didn't hate Jennifer's Body as much as you did. Ya, it was flawed, but compared to the loads of shit that came out last year (remember "The Unborn"?) it was half-decent. I also liked that the plot didn't follow a typical 3-act layout.
All this being said, I'm pretty sure that I am one of 2 or 3 people in the country right now who would even try to defend this movie. The general consensus is that it is cinematic vomit, and I don't totally disagree, I just know I've seen worse.

brian said...

Yep, I couldn't even muster up the energy to write up 'The Unborn'. Wasn't even worth my time. Like I said, I enjoyed the parts with the band. Would love to see a movie about those guys trying to make it big by selling out to the Devil. And, Megan Fox wasn't that bad. It's probably the role she was born to play which I guess says a little something about her abilities considering that I didn't really enjoy the movie.

elmo said...

Yeah, god knows if Diablo Cody isn't going away, someone needs to tell her to her face that she's THAT irritating. Maybe she'll, uh, try sooner or later.