Director: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody
Megan Fox as a man-eating cheerleader - how's that for high concept? Not enough? Ok, she's possessed by a demon. And likes to take her clothes off. Now we're talking; this is a seriously deep idea. Or, at least, that's what Karyn Kusama would say. Directing Diablo Cody's screenplay, Jennifer's Body is made by women, written by women, and stars two women. With Needy (Seyfried), Jennifer's nerdy put-upon friend, facing down the demon, this is supposedly subversive, feminist film-making. Is that before or after the lesbian kissing...?
The thng is, of course, that it's all satirical. When Jennifer (Fox) seduces a guy in the woods before disembowelling him against a tree? That's satirical. The inner insecurities of a sex-mad succubus? That's satirical. Now there's nowt wrong with a bit of irony, but is this slutty slasher reallly anything but? Hitting someone else's kid on a bus may be ironic (don't ask how), but that doesn't make it OK. The problem with Jennifer's Body is that it tries to tread the line between horror and comedy but keeps missing, stuck in the genre it's trying to lampoon.
Some bits work well - sleazy lead singer Nikolai (Brody) is so desperate for fame that he summons a spirit from hell ("Do you know how hard it is to make it as an indie band these days? There are so many of us, and we're all so cute and it's like if you don't get on Letterman or some retarded soundtrack, you're screwed, okay? Satan is our only hope!") That does count as satire, amusingly millked by the entertaining Adam Brody. But some bits fail miserably - namely any attempt at character, or fear.
Happily playing peek-a-boo, Cody's camped up script is full of mild jumps and jolts, none of which pack a punch. What Cody can do is land some choice dialogue; continuing her brand of pop-cultured teen-speak, Cody's smart speech carries as much wit and humour as it did in Juno ("Do you want to be a loser? Or like the guy from Maroon 5?") But in between making up words ("that's so freak-tarded", "lesbigay") and setting up mediocre shocks, there's little room for actual emotions, let alone showcasing the true terror of being a teenage girl. Amanda Seyfriend's an awesome actor, but there's no real connection between her and Fox at all. As for Needy's boyfriend? Who gives a damn?
There's still space for strong supporting roles, though, especially J.K Simmons as a one-armed teacher with a hook for a hand. With a capable (but wasted) cast and decent dialogue, Jennifer's Body is more fun that it should be. But as the title suggests, it's all about Megan Fox. Not quite funny enough or scary enough, Kusama's creation is literally just a pile of tits.
Waving women around in little to no clothes, Jennifer's Body is as subtle as two smart bombs. Which coincidentally is what she calls her boobs. That's satirical too.
- adam brody
- amanda seyfried
- diablo cody
- high school