Jennifer’s Body Eats Men, Forces Awkward Teen Dialogue


A premeditated cult classic—they’re kind of like “pre-worn” designer jeans—Jennifer’s Body seems designed more to be quoted than watched. This is the sophomore production from Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, similarly told through ultra-stylized slangy teen dialogue, which is cool, in theory, in the way it respects the verbal resourcefulness of idle flyover kids, but is excruciating to listen to in actual fact. Megan Fox’s lithe Jennifer is BFF to goldfish-faced, bespectacled Amanda Seyfried’s “Needy”—the nickname underlines the essentially condescending dynamic in their high school relationship, which also digresses into the best close-up girl-girl liplock since Cruel Intentions. Jenny is transformed from a flaunting tease into a literal man-eater, a boy-gobbling succubus, after going off one night in some out-of-town rocker’s van (the movie can read as a cautionary tale on the dangers of trolling for hot band dudes instead of sticking with your schlubby boyfriend), setting up a Good Girl vs. Bad Girl knock-down-drag-out. The suburban interior décor is about a generation off, but the satire is roughly contemporary, with routine “risky” digs at 9/11 kitsch (and, generally, the American “Tragedy boner”) and a re-enactment of the Great White club fire. Lines like, “Sandbox love never dies,” could be lyrics to the Warped Tour riffs to which Fox slo-mo sashays at the camera.