2/23/10

My Better Half has Bitten Me: Jennifer's Body

It took me some time to get around to watching Karyn Kusama's Jennifer's Body.  I admit that after I read a few less than stellar reviews about the film, I thought It really wasn't going to be worth it; color me wrong!

With a script by Juno scribe, Diablo Cody, Jennifer's Body sparkles with witty life - it's a slice of Grand Guignol layer cake served up at the senior prom - a warped view of teen angst and suppressed sexuality.  But more than anything, it's a romp on the wild side, and a hell of a lot of fun.

In the less than bucolic hamlet of Devil's Kettle ( a town noted for its water fall and strange whirlpool),  Needy (Amanda Seyfried), a nerdy high-school student makes the scene with the school's most desired co-ed, Jennifer (Megan Fox).  Like Felix Unger and Oscar Madison before them, this odd couple causes others to scratch their heads and wonder what the attraction is.  Early on, one of Needy's classmates makes a rather crude comment about the rather sapphic overtones of the girl's relationship.  Needy does not seem to care, in fact she seems thrilled to always be the apple of her gorgeous friend's eye.

From early on, it's obvious that Jennifer is the alpha dog amongst the twosome, and, like a love sick, slightly abused puppy, Needy puts up with Jennifer, her whims, and even her slightly contumelious outbursts.  Such things seem the price one would pay to have a BFF of Jennifer's stature.

One night, the girls go to a seedy bar to hear a local band, and a horrific fire breaks out killing quite a few of the patrons.  Luckily the girls escape harm, and while in the parking lot, Jennifer, inexplicably agrees to take a ride with the band (who have also escaped unscathed), and that's when the real fun begins.
Once Jennifer's Body starts the roller-coaster in motion, it does not stop until the damn thing has flown off the tracks and smashed into the merry-go-round - yes, it's that fucking good! 
Any film that can show a deer eating the guts of dead football player, explain why certain talentless bands become world famous, feature Amy Sedaris as someone's tough talking mom, and then dig a bit deeper to explore the way a toxic relationship can ruin the lives of those involved is aces in my book.
In spite of all of the witty dialogue, blood letting and tomfoolery that ensues, Jennifer's Body also manages to produce one particularly gut wrenching scene that features a favorite actress here at Billy Loves Stu, Gabrielle Rose.  Rose plays the mother of one of Jennifer's victims, and her reaction to the antic's of her son's poser friends at the funeral is absolutely heart breaking.  Once again, Ms. Rose proves herself to be one of the finest actresses out there today. 
If you are looking for a treat, then by all means, check out Jennifer's Body, I am confident you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was with what you  find when you take a deeper look.





10 comments:

Ryne said...

Very interesting.
I wasn't expecting much from this film, especially with what I felt were some pretty bad trailers, but your opinion tells me I need to see this.

Prospero said...

The movie was actually quite fun, though marketed all wrong.

Waxdude said...

Thanks to you I'm putting this movie in my queue on Netflix right this instant...

Cinema Du Meep said...

It's one of the better "girl" movies of recent years. I found it to be a lot of fun. Great review.

Te* (Slasher Film Sanctuary) said...

Wow Pax, this was a great review. I'm glad other people besides my freaky self, with my freaky-odd taste, enjoyed this film as well. It really deserves more praise than its gotten in past reviews and you have done just that, so I applaud you Pax-ie boy! ;)

Pax Romano said...

Thanks all, glad you enjoyed the review!

Uranium Willy said...

yea I thought this one was fairly good and entertaining. Do not know what all the negative chatter was about. I recommend people to check it out as well. Good stuff.

Alana said...

Hi Pax-y. XO

I thought about you yesterday watching Margaret Cho's "Beautiful," because she got around to talking about Fag Hags and I wished then I was hanging out with you, being your Hag. :-)

I'd also like to party with Margaret Cho.

To quote the Kiddo in regards to "Jennifer's Body," "The only thing I liked about this one was Megan Fox is pretty."

I wanted to like this film. I certainly didn't hate it, but I found it disappointing that we experience no character development in regards to Jennifer, no arc. Jennifer begins a shallow bitch and ends up a man eating living dead shallow bitch.

I mean, everything you point out here is astute, but I suppose I went into it hoping to identify with Jennifer.

Hmm, now that's interesting . . .

A

Pax Romano said...

A,

I've seen Cho live several times, she is hysterical (especially when telling tales of her mother).

I see your point, but I think had Jennifer been a "good girl" at the start, we would have not believed her as a "man eater". I saw her progression from Alpha Teen to Demon a natural progression.

Oh and I am so proud that you'd be my "hag" - but we have to find a new term for that ;)

forestofthedead said...

Finally got around to seeing and loving this film.
Great review Pax, you have a real skill at writing them.