Diablo Cody, the writer of “Jennifer’s Body,” also famously injected her own brand of sassiness into the Academy Award-winning screenplay for “Juno.” While both films would appear to have nothing in common, on closer inspection, there are major similarities between them. Both films involve the disastrous consequences of premarital sex — in “Juno” it was a baby, and in “Jennifer’s Body” it is getting sacrificed and turning into a demon.
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“Jennifer’s Body” tells the tale of two best friends, Jennifer Check (Megan Fox, “Transformers”) and Needy Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfriend, “Mean Girls”). While attending a concert of the indie band Low Shoulder, Jennifer is seduced by the lead singer (Adam Brody of TV’s “The OC”) and takes off with him in his “’89 rapist” van. It’s been far too long since Adam Brody has been on screen, but here he reminds everyone just why he was never relevant in the first place.)
After being improperly sacrificed by Low Shoulder (for a record deal, obviously), Jennifer becomes a demon, hell-bent on feeding on the flesh of high school boys. She becomes moody, slightly deranged and spews evil black bile out of her mouth — pretty much like the real-life Megan Fox.
The issue of virginity weighs heavily on this movie, and at times “Jennifer’s Body” could almost be a public service announcement for abstinence. After all, Jennifer only becomes a demon since she is not a virgin — not even a “back door virgin” according to her — when sacrificed. One can’t help but wonder if Cody writes the film with a pro-chastity message in mind. Perhaps she feels that high school kids simply aren’t ready for sex yet. After all, it appears to be the cause of all of their problems. Or maybe it’s simply foolish to look for deeper meaning in a film like “Jennifer’s Body.”
The film is an enjoyable mix between a comedy and a horror film, and it obviously aspired to be both, as evidenced by the numerous references to Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” franchise. Raimi may be the king of mixing genres, but Cody still needs some work. There are a few moments when the back-and-forth between comedy and horror seems slightly jarring, like when Jennifer, stabbed through the chest with a pole, asks Needy for a tampon. There are also many moments in which Cody’s bizarre pseudo-hipster speech comes through. No, there are no “honest to blog” moments here as there were in “Juno,” but at one point the line “move on dot org!” is used.
Despite the quips and slight ridiculousness, the film is wickedly fun. “Jennifer’s Body” doesn’t seem to want to take itself too seriously, which works in its favor. After all, how else could someone take a film seriously when the most popular girl in school feeds on her various male suitors?
Cody seems to believe that what is truly terrifying is not actually the flesh-eating monster inside Jennifer, but the mere fact that she is a teenage girl. Most of us will never face actual demons in our life, but it is with absolute certainty that we will have, or have had, to contest with a demonic teenage girl or two.