Sunday, January 3, 2010

Under 250: Jennifer's Body

Jennifer's Body is exactly the movie I had hoped it would be. By that I mean that it successfully navigates through the hazardous waters of the teen film and manages to come up with something as cheekily self-aware as it is entertainingly gratuitous. Written by Juno scribe Diablo Cody, the film follows confused average teen Needy (Amanda Seyfried) as she slowly begins to realize that her popular best friend Jennifer (Megan Fox) has become possessed by something that she just can't abide. The beauty, and satirical fun of this film is of course that instead of replaying dozens of popular vs. unpopular, bitch vs. nerd, friends growing apart fables, Jennifer's Body plays out like a supernatural Heathers, making the school queen into an actual boyeater and someone who literally (not merely figuratively) feeds off the pain of those around her. Cody's dialogue and off-the-wall slang works well here, it evokes an 80's atmosphere without any of the preciousness of Juno's wisdom beyond her years. I'd even argue that Megan Fox does a fine job in her role as Jennifer. Even as she slays you can see a little hint of actual teenage uncertainty around the edges. Jennifer's Body may not be a great horror film or a great movie, but it's a solid guilty pleasure, a simple entertainment with a dose of social commentary that keeps it a head above the rest.

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