Jenniferís Body

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, J. K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris. Teen horror comedy. Written by Diablo Cody. Directed by Karyn Kusama.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The school hotty is self-centered to the max, a case in narcissism (she has two photos of herself at her vanity table). She also enjoys governing the life of her best girlfriend and teasing all the high school boys, teachers and every male adult she sees. She walks a dangerous tightrope, flirting with the lead band singer at a concert she attends, having drug along her subservient friend, Needy. But Jennifer finally pays the price. Despite warnings from Needy, she gets in the band bus only to discover the guys have been looking for a virgin (she fibbed about that) to sacrifice to Satan in order to achieve success in the rock & roll world.

Well, after a rough night with the bad band boys, which includes her getting sacrificed with a Bowie knife, somehow she returns to the living, a walking vampire that must feed on the blood and intestines of unsuspecting suitors.

Needy begins to suspect that her friend maybe one of the living dead after a rash of gluttonous murder/feedings becomes news at school. But she fairs no better, the evil rubbing off on her. Soon she seeks a little vengeance herself. And having been bit by her vampiric former friend, she gains a little demonic power of her own.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This is a comedy fright flick aimed at 14-year old boys and the 14-year-old in grown males who think they will find some sort of satisfaction by seeing sexpot Megan Fox in an R-rated movie. Normally I would pass on this genre, but I was tempted by the filmís writer Diablo Cody, who wrote the sensitive, humorous and life-affirming Juno. And while I might have been tempted to see such a film staring some other sexpot (Iím a guy, Iím human), I didnít care to see Ms. Fox. While she is just that, thereís something about her that troubles my spirit. Iíve read her foul-tongued interviews and each time come away thinking thereís little she appreciates about traditional values. Now, thatís just my opinion, but if I donít want to look at this admittedly beautiful girl, there must be something to my assessment.

I was disappointed by Ms. Cody, who along with her writing chores also produced the film. I knew it would contain sexual imagery, but at least I was hoping it would be fresh, smart and maybe even satiric. While there are flashes of the same gift she brought to Junoís dialogue, everything here seems the opposite. The inconsistencies and blundering scenario (why and how does she come back from the dead?) and several other motivations that seem more silly than cartoonish-ly fun, leave us with a storyline that makes little sense. There are also the exploitive sexual situations, graphic sexual slang, and one other thing that truly disturbed me Ė the playfulness of the screenplay with matters of the occult. True, weíre not supposed to take anything serious here, but just as Jesus and salvation are treated with a passiveness, so too is the reality of the occult. Itís used here as a plot gimmick, treated playfully.

I suppose if you donít believe in evil being associated with the occult, then you feel free to mock it. But even if you feel that same dismissiveness for Christ, why insult His many followers? How would the writer feel if I were to go all scriptural about homosexuality at this point Ė which is a plot development as we see the two girls passionately kissing? Would she think I was disrespecting the views of the gay community if I was to quote some scripture about gay sex? In America, weíre not to ridicule the beliefs of others. So why does Ms. Cody treat religious concepts with such a casual brush aside?

While I admit to being engrossed, the smart writing and good acting I was hoping for never materialized. I never tell anyone not to go to a movie and I donít think youíre doomed to Hell if you attend this one. But read the content if you are thinking of going. And talk to the 14-year-olds in your family, both kids and the adult versions, before they sneak off to see it. Should we be treating occult practices lightly?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Filled with teen speak, which tends toward the crude and insensitive.

Obscene Language: Twenty or more obscenities, mostly the f-word from the lead.

Profanity: One profane use of Godís name and a dismissive remark about Jesus and redemption Ė it borders on blasphemy.

Violence: Several brutal slayings, often accompanied with attempted humorous bon mots; we see the possessed girl drinking blood from the entrails of her dead victim; lots and lots of blood; several killings; a girl is bound and knifed to death in a ritual killing; etc. Blood: As I said, lots and lots.

Sex: A great deal of sexual innuendo, several sexual conversations by teen characters; a couple of sexual situations between teens, one becoming fairly graphic, though no nudity.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: The film uses occult themes as entertainment fodder, not dealing with the subject honestly or seriously.

Running Time: 102 minutes
Intended Audience: Made for teens, though rated R

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