Jennifer’s Body – USA, 2009 – reviews

‘She’s got a taste for bad boys’

Jennifer’s Body is a 2009 black comedy horror film written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama (The InvitationXX). The film stars Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, and Adam Brody.

A newly-possessed cheerleader (Fox) kills her male classmates, with her best friend striving to stop her. The film was released in the United States and Canada on September 18, 2009.

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The title is a reference to the song of the same name by alternative rock band Hole on their album Live Through This. As a tie-in to the film, Boom! Studios produced a Jennifer’s Body graphic novel.

Working with Cody again following their collaborative efforts on the film Juno, Jason Reitman stated he and his producers “want to make unusual films”. Cody said she wanted the film to speak to female empowerment and explore the complex relationships between best friends.

Jennifer's Body

The film, which had a budget of $16 million, grossed $16,204,793 domestically and $15,351,268 in international sales, for a worldwide total of $31,556,061.

The film received mixed reviews from critics; negative reviews criticised the pacing and narrative, while positive reviews praised the film for its dialogue, performances, and emotional resonance.

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Plot:

Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried), once an insecure teenager, is now a violent mental inmate who starts the story as a flashback while in solitary confinement. Needy and popular cheerleader Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) have been best friends since childhood, despite having little in common.

One night, Jennifer takes Needy to a local dive bar to attend a concert by indie rock band Low Shoulder. A suspicious fire engulfs the bar, killing several, and Jennifer agrees to leave with the band despite Needy’s attempts to stop her.

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Later that evening, Jennifer, covered in blood, appears in Needy’s kitchen and proceeds to eat food from the refrigerator. Unable to digest the matter, she vomits a trail of black, spiny fluid and then leaves in a hurry as Needy calls after her…

 

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“This isn’t your assembly-line teen horror thriller. The portraits of Jennifer and Needy are a little too knowing, the dialogue is a little too off-center, the developments are a little too quirky. After you’ve seen enough teen thrillers, you begin to appreciate these distinctions. Let’s put it this way: I’d rather see Jennifer’s Body again than Twilight.” Roger Ebert

“It lacks punch through and through, and though the movie is noble in trying to explore the complicated relationship between Fox’s Jennifer and Seyfried’s Needy (as well as the underlying dynamics of high school female relationships), all of these elements get lost in the shuffle. There are simply too many disparate ideas working against each other”. Cinema Very Tasty

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“There is a lot of intelligent camp here, and some sharply observed characterizations (Brody in particular is wickedly funny). Female empowerment would have been the obvious message here, with Jennifer’s bloody appetites stemming from a take-back-the-night scenario gone terribly awry (as in Teeth, a smart indie film from 2007), so it was a pleasure to see Cody and Kusama delving instead into the frequently disempowering effect of female friendships.” Mary Pols, Time

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“Fox merely needs to look either vacant or evil, which the Transformers boy-toy does spookily well. And at least the movie is more punky than wannabe-pithy, unlike Cody’s script for the overrated Juno. But words and story are still the lifeblood of a movie, and Jennifer’s Body is filled like a Twinkie with half-fleshed-out ideas (demonic bands, undead superpowers, a weirdo waterfall), and becomes fatally distracted from its big Carrie-like conclusion at a high school dance.” Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

Cast and characters:

  • Megan Fox as Jennifer Check
  • Amanda Seyfried as Anita “Needy” Lesnicki
  • Johnny Simmons as Chip Dove
  • J. K. Simmons as Mr. Wroblewski
  • Amy Sedaris as Toni Lesnicki
  • Adam Brody as Nikolai
    Kyle Gallner as Colin Gray
  • Cynthia Stevenson as Mrs. Dove
  • Chris Pratt as Officer Roman Duda
  • Carrie Genzel as Mrs. Check
  • Juan Riedinger as Dirk
  • Juno Ruddell as Officer Warzak
  • Valerie Tian as Chastity
  • Aman Johal as Ahmet from India
  • Josh Emerson as Jonas Kozelle
  • Lance Henriksen as the driver near the end of film

Wikipedia | IMDb

 

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