I’m not sure when or how it happened but I’ve spent the better part of a year re-contextualizing my love or dislike of certain movies. Alien 3 is now the most interesting entry in an odd franchise for me. Ocean’s 12 is my favorite Soderbergh movie. But Jennifer’s Body? I’ve always had a secret love affair with this movie. So I’m not here to re-contextualize anything for myself. I’m here to ask you to give Jennifer’s Body a chance.
In an era where the works of Joss Whedon have been as popular as they’ve ever been (and more criticized) it really is odd that Jennifer’s Body, a movie with as much wit and energy as the best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, remains under-celebrated.
In Jennifer’s Body, Amanda Seyfreid and Megan Fox play off each other in ways best friends do. It sounds simple but only because Seyfreid and Fox make it seem so. There’s a sense of history between the two. You know they don’t always want to be around each other but they care deeply for one another. Sometimes that friendship is one sided, with Seyfreid’s plain Jane character Anita “Needy” Lesnicki being dragged along on rambunctious escapades by Megan Fox’s titular Jennifer Check. There’s even a hint of some infatuation on the part of Needy within her friendship with the attractive beyond her years Jennifer. Not that Needy is jealous or anything (lime green jell-o). The script just lets the characters grow into love and conflict. You know, before something happens and Jennifer starts eating teenage boys.
Diablo Cody’s script takes a new look at horror subject matter (an episode of Supernatural would do decent work this material) and turns it into something quotable with a life of its own. This thing whizzes along. Scenes don’t overstay their welcome. And it’s just refreshing to see a movie about women, made by women, for women. Cody’s scripts operate in a higher reality but why Juno was such a big hit was the sense of grounding said reality with characterizations the average Joe could comprehend. Maybe it was just Juno backlash and Cody just got it worse because she’s a woman (let’s be honest, this is probably what happened). But come on, Juno is fine and this movie didn’t deserve to be sidelined.
So often we hear complaints about original movies not being given attention they deserve. When we finally get a movie as fulfilling as Jennifer’s Body, nobody gives it the time of day. We get to vote for which movies we love with our money and viewership. Jennifer’s Body is an original movie with an inventive approach to horror and comedy. The next time one of these drops by, let’s make sure to pay more attention to it.