Friday, September 18, 2009 - 09:56 PM
Today, “Jennifer’s Body” opens in theaters. Written by Diablo Cody (who recently stopped by Studio 360), this new horror flick tells the story of Jennifer (Megan Fox), a popular high school girl possessed by a man-eating demon. Her best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), is the yin to Jennifer’s yang: unpopular, mousy, a bit of a nerd. But when Jennifer develops a taste for her best friend’s boyfriend, it’s up to Needy to stop her.
The web has been buzzing over the sharp script, the beautiful stars, not to mention their on-screen kiss. But the film has also ignited discussion about an unexpected theme: Feminism.
USA Today recently ran the headline: “Women Get Their Bloody Revenge in Jennifer’s Body.” And I couldn’t help but think, “Women? Why didn’t it say, “A Woman?” Hmm… That plural seems to include all of us in a weird way. There’s been an explosion of questions: Can a genre movie like “Jennifer’s Body” really say anything significant about an issue as weighty as feminism? Is Jennifer’s character actually a disempowered woman because she becomes possessed through a satanic sacrifice gone wrong? Or is Jennifer a horrific exaggeration of a sexually-empowered, popular woman?
Cody told Kurt that the film has less to do with feminism or with girls vs. boys, and more to do with high school culture and the “toxic” friendships between adolescent girls. And although Jennifer crosses that line from “high school evil” into “actually evil,” the comparison strikes a chord. When Needy says, “Hell is a teenage girl,” I imagine that some current and former teenage girls will agree.