Comfortable and Furious

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

We don’t even get to see her body.

(Note: I originally wrote this review in 2010. Reviewing the cast now and seeing J.K. Simmons and Chris Pratt listed is hilarious.)

One of these days, I’m hoping that all of this writing is going to lead me to a place where I might get to interview people involved with movies. As cool as it would be to talk to the actors, my biggest interest is in talking to the writers. They are responsible for the two things I like most about movies – plot and characters – and I’d love to ask them about the process and how they feel about the end products. After watching Jennifer’s Body, I thought about what I would ask the writer and the first thing that came to mind was “How ashamed of you is your family?” The plot and characters of this film were so bad that I decided to look up the name of the person who actually got paid for writing this piece of crap down. To my surprise, that name is Diablo Cody.

For those of you who don’t know that name, Cody is the same person that wrote Juno. I know, my jaw snapped open as well. Immediately, the question I would ask her changed to “How the hell do you follow up Juno with Jennifer’s Shitty Body?” It was exactly the opposite of Juno in every way possible. Juno had lovable characters that were easy to identify with and a plot that is relatable to almost everyone. Jennifer’s Body was like having someone fart in your face while you’re taking a nap.

How you feel after sitting through this film.

I had no intentions of ever seeing this movie, but a friend recommended the film saying that it was pretty good. At least, that’s what I thought she said. What she actually said was that it was “funny” and for some reason my brain recorded that as “good.” When she corrected me, I thought about the movie for a second and realized that there was some unintentional comedy, but I still wouldn’t say the movie was funny.

As I mentioned earlier, the plot was just stupid. Amanda Seyfried plays Needy Lesnicky (dumbest character name ever?), a high schooler in an insane asylum who tells us the story of how she ended up there. Her best friend Jennifer (Megan Fox) gets possessed by a demon, she eats a bunch of people, and Needy kills her. You might think I just spoiled the whole movie, but the film does that the moment they cut from the insane asylum to several weeks earlier. The previews show us Jennifer is possessed and they open with Needy in the mental hospital. It doesn’t take more than a couple of brain cells to make those connections. At that point, the only reason left to keep watching is in the dim hope that Seyfried or Fox will appear naked since the movie is rated-R.

The film plays out like a bad horror movie when they flashback to the beginning of the possession. Jennifer and Needy go to a concert at a bar so Jennifer can screw the lead singer. Needy knows this, but goes anyway because she is basically the loser friend that causes all eyes to focus on the hotter Jennifer. A few minutes into the concert, the bar catches on fire and the band takes off with Jennifer in tow. Everyone else dies and Needy manages to make it back home, where she is later confronted by a blood-soaked Jennifer who pukes tar all over Needy. Oh, if only I was making all that up. We don’t find out until later how Jennifer came to be possessed, but by then we don’t even care.

At school the next day, Jennifer is happy but annoyed when they try to have a few solemn moments to regard the dead and nobody really seems to care about her insensitivity. For that matter, the amount of sadness on display in this school is equal to the amount you would display while flushing a dead goldfish down the toilet. This strange apathetic mourning is on display every time someone dies and you wonder, as an audience member, why an entire town seems to care very little that people are being killed and eaten since this isn’t the movie It. And if they don’t care, it’s a pretty sure bet that you don’t either. So, you go back to the original thought of “when do we get to see some boobies?”

Oh yeah. Show me some shoulder, baby.

The reason why Jennifer eats her victims is because the demon needs them for fuel. As her fuel tank empties, she gets uglier and needs to eat again. This brings us to her next victim, whom she takes into the woods on the guise of wanting to have sex with him. Maybe this is where our patience finally pays off. Facing the camera, Jennifer takes her top off and, and…damn it! The shot cuts her off just below the neck and all we see are her head and shoulders. She then proceeds to morph into demon face and eat him, so we sit back grumbling, hoping for another chance.

Later, after a couple more kills and a lot more teasing, Jennifer ends up in Needy’s room in nothing but her underwear. Our interest piques a little, but by now we know better. They even try to fool us by giving us an extremely close shot of Jennifer and Needy kissing with a lot of tongue. They lie down on the bed for a moment, lips locked, and suddenly we’re wondering how far two well-known actors are going to take this scene when Needy breaks away and asks what the hell is going on. We’re asking that, too, because this isn’t a porn and we’re not stupid enough to believe that this was ever going anywhere near the realm of full lesbian action.

The glasses on her head make it extra hot.

The film finally fulfills its forgone conclusion when Jennifer begins gnawing on Needy’s boyfriend and Needy eventually kills her. By this time, we don’t care about anything, even when Needy gets revenge on the band during the credits. This last little tidbit is especially insulting because Cody is still under the impression that we give a damn about anyone in this film. The story is completely disjointed, jumping from one scene to the next without building any kind of tension. The characters are flat and come off as stupid and clueless, leaving us caring so little about them that all we want from them is to see them naked. If Cody had bothered to read her own story, she would have seen this and realized how empty an ending it would make. My final question to Cody would be “Who taught you to fart like that?”

Rating: Ask Cody for all of your money back or at least to flash you her breasts. If you sat through the whole movie, you earned it.



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