Friday, November 5

Jennifer's Body

She's evil... and not just high school evil. 

Is this a record or is it just the fact that I'm super tired whilst writing this, but I don't hate that tagline - I might even go so far as to say I actually quite like it. (Hang tight, because that's not the only unexpected revelation this film provided). 

'Jennifer's Body' follows the story of high-school girls (and bff's) Needy (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer (Megan Fox). Needy is the typical nerdy-girl, reserved and a little overshadowed by her best friend the completely opposite Jennifer who is pretty, popular and conceited. After a disastrous fire at the local bar, Jennifer leaves with sleazy, indie band guy Nikolai (Adam Brody) and returns with a bloodthirsty appetite for her male classmates. 

'Jennifer's Body' is Diablo Cody's second film, right after the massively popular 'Juno'. With that came a huge amount of expectations (she won an Oscar for goodness sake) and quite a large backlash. If Juno was known for anything it was the dialogue, which has mostly become known as 'Codyisms' - the way that Diablo interprets teen speak - the biggest complaint was that many find Cody's dialogue to be completely unbelievable and not at all how teens speak. 

Now, I wasn't a teen in the 1980's, but I find it hard to believe that sayings such as "f*ck me gently with a chainsaw" were in the cultural lexicon before 'Heathers' was released. Also a lot of teens will try to find ways to swear without actually having to say the words and therefore invent ways to do so. Believe me, my friend and I developed a system in which different cities meant different swear words, we thought we were incredibly cool and incredibly clever (funnily enough we weren't quite clever enough to know there was places called 'Phuket' and 'Bangkok', because that probably would've blown our minds). Essentially, I'm giving Diablo Cody a pass for this one - young people make up words/sayings they think are clever, whilst the rest of the world are left wondering what on earth they are talking about - and wish they spent as much time on homework as they did making up words (see: brap). 

Let me just say that I loved this film. Properly l-o-v-e-d it, and I was not expecting to at all. The first time I became aware of 'Jennifer's Body' was these pictures. The second was seeing the above poster on a friends living room wall. If that wasn't enough the marketing campaign had a good go at informing me that this film wasn't for me. I imagine that when this was first released, the cinema was packed with over-sexed males (the kind who read Maxim and FHM) hoping to see some Megan Fox nudity and 'girl-on-girl' action, how disappointed they must have been. On the other hand, I bet there were a lot of girls who were put of going to see the film for the exact same reason (just like me) and have therefore missed out on a film which is so much more for them than many 'chick-flick' (ick) type films.

This film is essentially about female friendship. Most girls had that friend who they weren't quite sure why they were friends with them, they were pretty, mean and experts at the back-handed compliment, and yet we were weirdly obsessed with her - desperately seeking her approval. If you didn't have a friend like this, lucky you on the other hand you might of been her. (I've read a lot of reviews/comments that have compared the story to that of films like The Craft, Heathers and Ginger Snaps. But I'm going to go completely high school and say that this film really reminded me of Tulip Touch).

The thing about this film that's different to all the other (female targeted) films based on this sort of 'girls being mean and catty to each other' story is that it doesn't just play it for laughs, it tries to understand and explain it - from both sides. There was a split second during her killing spree that I felt sorry for Jennifer - adamantly denying Needy's claims that she was insecure whilst fighting back tears. Now I'm not saying that's why all girls who act like Jennifer, act the way they do, but it's an interesting perspective (and a lot more believable than ' that bitch stole the last pair of size 6 Manolo's'). 

Not only is this kind of a feminist film in the sense that it's written and directed by women (Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama, respectively) it kind of adressess female stereotypes. "I know girls like her" is one of the early lines in the film (said by Nikolai). That's sort of the line that sets the whole thing into motion. Nikolai assuming that all girls can fit into specific categories. He justifies what he does to Jennifer because of the way she is - 'sacrificing the virgin' almost becomes a (way harsh, Tai) method of slut-shaming. 

Whilst we've mentioned, him lets talk about Adam Brody. The OC may be mostly forgotten now but he's still my sponsored alum (made slightly easier by the fact that Mischa is simultaneously living on yachts and in rehab, Rachel is a terrible actress and Ryan has vanished off the face of the earth) and my boy does me proud in this film as the highly sleazy, Brandon Flowers-esque (right?), indie band frontman Nikolai. I maintain that this guy is a good actor, his character was reprehensible (and super hot, as is the law with frontmen) and I believed it. I believed that Seth Cohen was an evil, sleazy band guy. Except, well, I wasn't thinking ‘Eugh, Seth Cohen is being mean’, I was thiking ‘Eugh. Evil, sleazy band guy’, because I wasn't making the connection between him and his OC character which is good, well at least I think that's good. He also sort of made you feel sorry for Jennifer, before that whole demonic killing spree business. 

Look, I'll be honest possibly the biggest reason I didn't want to see this film was Megan Fox. The girl say’s some stupid things in interviews, like properly idiotic – I just didn’t want to watch how-ever-many-minutes of Megan Fox ‘sexyface’. And yeah, there was some of Megan Fox’s trademarked ‘sexyface’, but that was sort of the point; Jennifer was vapid, shallow and she was the sort of girl who flashed a bit of cleavage to get what she wanted. Honestly, the jury’s still out as to whether she’s a good actress or not (I only have this, Transformers and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen to go on) and admittedly there were moments where I actually thought that she probably is a good actress, but the most important thing is that she played her character well, she didn’t make the film unbearable and I actually dislike her (as an actress) a lot less than I had previously. 

In regards to the rest of the cast, well I was just delighted that there was a slight Veronica Mars reunion of sorts. Have I ever mentioned my love of Veronica Mars? Not this week? Oh, cool. I love Veronica Mars, and had a slight buzz of excitement when I realised that Jennifer's Body featured two major characters from the series - Lily Kane (Amanda Seyfried) and Cassidy Casablancas (Kyle Gallner, who plays school 'emo' Colin), although I don't think they ever appeared together in the series. In 'Mars' Kyle ' Cassidy, not Beaver' Gallner played the only highly disturbed, mass murderer I've ever rooted for, because "he was super sweet before we found out he killed a bus-load (literally) of people". That my friends is the power of Veronica Mars. Also, Amanda Seyfried is just awesome. That is all. 

Like I said I loved this film, considering it's based on the story of a flesh-eating possessed girl, it's sort of realistic (seriously, what is this saying about my previous friendships?). If you were put off initially by the film, honestly give it another try, you might be surprised.

"Jennifer's Body" Trailer.

[Which, I dunno, is sort of NSFW. This trailer makes it seem super scary/horror. It scared me (to be fair I am of a nervous disposition) and I've seen the film, and know it's not as scary as this suggests.'

1 comment:

  1. I absolutly LOVE this movie! Its my Playbook! <3 Just the best movie I have ever seen! ;D


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