Jennifer’s Body is one of those movies that just can’t make up its damn mind. It’s one of the most frustrating movies you’ll watch this year at the theaters. Does it want to be a spoof of horror films? Does it want to be a regular, run-of-the-mill gorefest? Is it a literal metaphor for how teenage girls are expected to act in today’s society, that being a “man-eater,” as they call it, is okay? The film has bits and pieces of each of those things, but never manages to pick one and stick with it.
Diablo Cody has become widely known for penning the hip teen drama Juno. She also created and writes the show United States of Tara. Tara has split personalities, but they mesh together into a coherent, often humorous storyline. Cody’s new creation, Jennifer’s Body, suffers from the same split personality syndrome, but just can’t seem to recover from it.
Megan Fox, Hollywood’s up-and-coming resident hottie, plays Jennifer. Like every other portrayal of a hot girl in high school that’s ever been put to film, Jennifer seems to own everyone. She’s got the town in the back pocket of her skinny jeans. Her best friend however is a nerdy girl named Needy (Amanda Seyfried). Seyfried is an attractive actress and it appears that Cody is trying to riff on the Hollywood stereotype that an attractive girl is made unattractive by a ratty pony tail and glasses. This is one of the few gems that can be found within this mess of a movie.
When the movie ventures into spoofing horror movies in general, it works to a degree. Take for example a virginal sacrifice scene. What would happen if those performing said sacrifice were really nonchalant about it and didn’t really know if it would work or not, but to them there was nothing to lose so they did it anyway. It’s funny, and the witty dialogue works well. But, at other times, like when a bar is burning down and people are burning alive, the same witty, hip writing falls on deaf ears because of the senseless carnage happening around them for no apparent reason.