REVIEW: Jennifer’s Body

18 01 2010

Jennifer’s Body” may be from the Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, but this is not a movie that will be contending for any awards. It is still laced with the stylized dialogue that made Cody a star, but surprisingly absent is any sort of narrative creativity to make the movie feel exciting. I imagine that “Jennifer’s Body” is to Diablo Cody what “Inglourious Basterds” is to Quentin Tarantino: a project that tickles their own fantasies. The difference is that the latter provides a rush of excitement while the former gives us little more to marvel at than star Megan Fox.

Fox is pretty – pretty unqualified to handle Cody’s rich dialogue. It rolls off her tongue with absolutely no energy, and she almost manages to make it boring. Fox has been given such a fun role, yet she seems to be thoroughly bored throughout the whole movie, displaying a mere fraction of the spunk that Ellen Page showed in “Juno.”

I’m not under the mistaken impression that Cody was trying to reinvent or innovate the high school film, and I recognize that she merely wanted to pay her tribute in the form of a very black comedy. “Jennifer’s Body” doesn’t stop at evoking them; the movie itself feels like a page ripped from their textbooks. I couldn’t get “Heathers” out of my head while I watched the demon Jennifer (Fox) sink into some teenage flesh. Her mismatched best friend, “Needy” (Amanda Seyfried of “Mamma Mia”), notices something a little abnormal in Jennifer’s behavior and investigates. As their small town of Devil’s Kettle mourns, Jennifer is feasting and Needy is trying to figure out a way to stop her.

There is still plenty of entertainment to be had in “Jennifer’s Body.” It’s a self-conciously bad movie, and you can still enjoy yourself laughing at the movie itself, not the jokes. Megan Fox might match the requirements to play Jennifer in looks, but she proves to be little more than a pretty face. She just doesn’t seem to get it – this is really dirty, funny stuff that she gets to handle, and it comes off as dull and uninspired. Although I like a little eye candy, “Jennifer’s Body” definitely would have benefitted from the casting of an actress who has the ability to fully realize the character. C /


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