Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jennifer's Body

"She's gonna EAT ME!!"

Needy and Jennifer have been friends for as long as they can remember and are now making there way through highschool from completely opposite ends of the social food chain. But after a fateful night out, a change comes over one of them that may well alter things forever... and the other is killing classmates.

Like a great deal of movie goers- judging from the box office earnings of this film- I dismissed it out of the gate as nothing more than another cog in the "Megan Fox is SOOOO HOTT!" propaganda machine. As one of the three heterosexual males who disagree, I figured it had nothing to offer me. But then a sort of morbid curiosity came over me. 'What if it's good?' 'What if there's something their not telling us?' Well it was- and there is.
Metaphor is like the game Othello: it takes only a minute to learn, but can take a lifetime to master. Used simply, its impact follows suit. But in skilled hands, it can allow an artist to tell a simple, everyday story in the grandest of terms. This is the basic theory behind Jennifer's Body- a story that plays out in high schools everywhere told in fantastic font.
And speaking of skill- it wasn't until I heard the word "Chester" used as a verb that I realized I recognized the writing style. Jennifer's Body is the second feature penned by Diablo Cody, who's style now more than ever reminds me of Kevin Smith: Often outrageous, occasionally contrived, but always smart, funny, and emotionally relevant. Her first screenplay was the acclaimed (and now award laden) Juno. I can't say that knowing this movie was from the same writer as Juno would have eased my doubts about seeing it, but I can say that Jennifer's Body will make me look past any doubts I might have about Cody's next project.
The award winners script is certainly not lost on the cast, who offer it to the audience with conviction. Yes, even the usually vapid Megan Fox finds a bit of range, though admittedly she seems much more at home playing the seductress than the high schooler. Jennifer's Body may be marketed on the media darling, but it's delivered by Amanda Seyfried, who continues to prove that her jump to the big screen as the empty headed Karen in Mean Girls was merely a means to an end, not an insight. I look forward to more from this one... as long as they're not musicals that is.
Evoking memories of the 80's classics Lost Boys, and Heathers, it could be a post-modern mix of the two, only much smarter. It flickers occasionally, my first thought is of a scene near the climax which just felt a bit forced, but these moments are few and far between. There really aren't many complaints to be had, though I feel the need to mention that the entire idea behind Low Shoulder is one of the funniest things I've heard in quite a while. Word of warning though: Horror fans may find themselves a bit disappointed. Elements abound, but this movie is much stronger as a black comedy than a horror.
And as if all that praise wasn't enough- J.K. Simmons is in it!

Watcher X says: "She was lighting her tongue on fire for fun- of course she was evil!"

Reel Deal Recommends
Mean girls: Then come back and watch this Jennifer's Body. It's like a before and after picture.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: For Megan Fox in a comfortable roll.
I Love You Man: Latest in a long line of awesome from J.K. Simmons.

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