Chloe Gilke: Megan Fox is Hollywood's underused comedic bombshell
If God were fair and the universe were just, Megan Fox wouldn’t be funny.
Megan Fox doesn’t need to be funny. She is a lot of other things — the pouty face on a poster arranged conspicuously across from a freshman boy’s bed, the kind of girl who has “always gotten along better with guys” and who gets lower-back tattoos as a “form of self-expression.” She’s the star of such renowned films as “Transformers” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the benefactor of an acting career funded by gross bros who will pay to stare at her ass while she washes a car. It even feels wrong referring to her without both her first and last name — you need two words to encompass the mythic sex symbolism that she embodies. And ever since she burst onto the scene in 2007 (out of nowhere, as if she were created in some sex-bot science lab), Megan Fox has been the one exception to my otherwise stringent feminism, the one lady I’d bash with utter glee.
Megan Fox has made a few forays into comedy in the past, which seems natural, because there is nothing funnier than a Hot Girl who stands there looking Hot. Megan Fox’s extensive filmography includes a cameo in Sacha Baron Cohen’s “The Dictator” and a supporting role in “This is 40.” Her standout scene in “This is 40” involves taking off her clothes during a shift at the clothing store where Leslie Mann’s character also works. Her best joke is standing there in her push-up bra and underwear, apathetically saying “really?” when Mann tells her she has a great body. Evidently, someone like Megan Fox doesn’t have to be funny or talented to make millions of dollars starring in action or comedy films. She is beautiful, which is all you need to be successful as a woman in Hollywood.
I feel kind of guilty about disliking Megan Fox this much, especially since I haven’t seen “Jennifer’s Body,” the Diablo Cody-penned horror comedy that Megan Fox headlined in 2009. In the movie, she plays another untouchable Hot Girl whose toxic good looks belie demonic possession. She kills a bunch of high-school boys. It sounds like exactly the kind of absurd satire that might speak to Megan Fox’s actual talent and reveal her merits aside from nice boobs — of course, I never wanted to see this movie, because it’s easier to just go on hating Megan Fox.
You can imagine the distaste I felt upon seeing the news that Megan Fox would be guest starring on one of my favorite comedies, “New Girl.” While star Zooey Deschanel was on maternity leave, Megan Fox would move into the schlubby L.A. loft with Nick, Schmidt and Winston. There’s already a TV show about a hot girl who lives with dorky guys, and it’s the highest-rated comedy on television: “The Big Bang Theory.” When “New Girl” premiered five years ago, I was worried that the show would follow in the steps of “Big Bang” and rely on cheap jokes about Hot Girls and dweeby guys, but Jess Day was always drawn with far more nuance and generous quirk than Penny on “The Big Bang Theory.” With the Megan Fox announcement, my fears were renewed. I was afraid that “New Girl” would lose its sense of humor and deliver the lazy, Hot-Girl-Standing-In-Her-Underwear comedy that Megan Fox seems so adept at.
It turns out that Megan Fox is adept at a lot of other kinds of comedy as well. In “New Girl,” she plays Reagan, a tough pharmaceutical saleswoman that Nick and Schmidt meet at a doctor’s office. Upon seeing her for the first time, Nick is struck by the kind of “magic” he has been waiting for in a woman — you know, that spark of chemistry and immediate connection, that kind of love at first sight that’s possible with women who look like Megan Fox. Reagan is looking for a place to stay, and Nick is thrilled at the possibility of such a Hot Girl living with them.
But Reagan is hardly a fantasy. She’s cold and kind of a diva (one of her sublet conditions is that bathroom has a rain shower), and she knows how to get what she wants (Nick installs a rain shower for her). She has a romantic history with Cece, one fateful hook-up at the MTV Beach House a decade ago that freaks the roommates out a little bit. She’s way, way out of Nick’s league, and all his friends let him know, repeatedly. And she has a deadpan sense of humor that’s miles from Jess’s bubbly sincerity. Reagan may be a purveyor of romantic “magic,” but she’s also kind of psychic and weird, and somehow knows that Schmidt used to be fat. She pours Nick the best Old Fashioned he’d ever tasted, and disappears from the bar without paying for a drink. She’s ephemeral, but she’s no dream Hot Girl in a softcore poster.
If God were fair and the universe were just, Megan Fox wouldn’t be funny. But the universe doesn’t bless women with just one talent, so here we are, surprised by a woman who is both gorgeous and silly. I’m embarrassed at those nine years I spent irrationally loathing someone who was never given a chance to show off her looks and comedic timing, the same kind of chance that someone like Zac Efron gets almost immediately upon arriving in Hollywood. It’s a shame that her comedic talent has been so obscured by years of underwritten roles that reduce her to some flat sex symbol. Even though she’s only on “New Girl” for another few weeks, I’m hoping that the show will start a grand Megan Fox career revival. She can tell a joke with the best of them.