Before we begin, a rant.
Halfway through ‘Jennifer’s Body’ – scriptwriter du jour Diablo Cody’s follow up to her Oscar-winning debut Juno – it struck me that almost every movie I’ve watched this year has said nothing to me about my life.
Now, despite it being worrying that halfway through the film I was thinking about something other than the movie (and I assure you this isn’t a sign of my short attention span – I didn’t even think about having a piss during The Lord Of The Rings and that’s about six months long), in the vast majority of cases, it’s fine that a movie doesn’t directly speak to me.
I generally watch movies about dragons or serial killers or animated films about dogs, but then I have never met a dragon or an animated dog, and I’ve broken off that engagement with the woman in San Quentin. The principal appeal of these movies is that they don’t say anything to me about my wretched, stinking life.
But despite ‘Jennifer’s Body’ being about the most popular girl in high school (Megan Fox) turning into a demon and eating the souls of all the boys in school that want to fuck her (and come to think of it, there was this girl at school who…), at heart, it’s basically just a movie about teenagers.
And I was a teenager! I swear, before I got old and grumpy and shit, I was actually a teenager! So why did I spent the majority of this movie scratching my head like a foul-mouthed metaphysical Stan Laurel and thinking, ‘Who the fuck are these people with their fucking pom poms and their fucking high school dances and their completely fucking amazing teeth?’
Maybe it’s because I’m sick to fucking death of Americans. No, scratch that – my favourite TV show is Buffy The Vampire Slayer (which ‘Jennifer’s Body’ desperately wants to be), my favourite drink is Dr Pepper, my favourite band are Buffalo Tom, my favourite place is Seattle, so I blatantly have a massive lob-on for America. But maybe I’m just sick of America having cultural cachet on talking about young people. Come on everyone! Let’s do a piss on the window of McDonald’s!
Look, don’t say Skins – it’s a great show, but one with content as fantastical as ‘Robocop’. And don’t say Inbetweeners – it’s a funny series, but one for people who want to giggle nostalgically at the use of the word ‘clunge’. These shows may star young people, but they’re certainly not about them.
And while I hope you’re not imagining my face morphing into that of a bulldog with a spinning Union Jack bow tie as you read this, I’ve got to say, why can’t Britain make a movie that says something about its young that doesn’t make the present generation out to be anything but a pack of feral fuckpigs (hello Fish Tank, Scum and anything ever made by Shane Meadows)?
OK, rant over. It’s not ‘Jennifer’s Body”s fault that it’s an American film. But it is its fault that it’s almost completely shit.
Diablo Cody isn’t without some talent. I’ll concede that there are some hearty laughs to be had in ‘Jennifer’s Body’ and some cleverly conceived lines (although it has to be said that the quota is much less than in ‘Juno’, while the amount of gapping plot holes – most infuriatingly being that how the two female leads telepathically know what each other is up to is never addressed – suggests there’s either been some vicious editing going on post production, or that Cody’s just really incompetent at piecing a story together).
And there were a handful of moments I did enjoy. The aspiring indie rock group who sacrifice Jennifer (unwittingly turning her into a demon because they mistake her for a virgin) in return for fame and fortune (“because it’s either this or work in Burger King forever”) stole the show whenever they were on scene. The music was good (Hole, Screeching Weasel, Silversun Pickups, Paramore). And the romance between Jennifer’s best friend ‘Needy’ (Amanda Seyfried) and her boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) created a host of moments all gooey and icky that I will think of every time I get into bed on my own and cry myself to sleep for the rest of my wretched, stinking life.
But here’s the science part. The story didn’t make sense. Someone forgot to write an ending. The horror bits weren’t in any way horrific. Jennifer’s CGI transformation into a demon made me yearn for ‘The Lawnmower Man’. And here’s a thing – you know sometimes you’ll meet someone and they’ll be like, “Hey, weren’t Carter USM good lyricists?” and you’ll go, “What the fuck are you talking about, you mental? If by ‘good lyricists’ you mean ‘they were good at puns’, then yes.”
Well, someone needs to tell Diablo Cody that thing she does where she makes a part of a word rhyme with another word to make another completely different word is REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING AFTER ABOUT THREE STABS AT IT. “Uh, so I’ll be all like, ‘Hello Titty'” FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF.
This film is 87 per cent dogshit. The end.