Jennifer's Body, which opened in the U.K. earlier this week, is not as bad as the IMDB rating score of 5.3 or the weak U.S. box office run of $16 million (exactly the same as it cost to make) would suggest. I mean it's not great, not even good, but it's passable and despite it's obvious tonal flaws by venturing halfways towards a high school comedy, halfway towards a scary creature feature, halfway towards a parody and halfway towards a softcorn porn movie... it's still highly watchable, and a little entertaining. Basically, I didn't hate it. So take that to mean if you can switch your brain off for 102 minutes then you might just have a decent time. And a note to those that have knocked it, I ask you this... surely there's more to think about here than in the latest Saw regurgitation? Say what you like about Megan Fox's acting ability, and I wouldn't argue... except to say she is self-knowing enough to only take on roles that play up to her image. She ain't up for Eliza Doolitle, for example. I know I'm almost being an apologist for the movie but despite it's uneven tone, I did find it very smart and very funny in places. It's light on the scares, and very light on tension building... director Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux, Girlfight) was an horrendous choice for this but it's got stuff on it's mind and the effort to be different is there. Can we not reward that? In her first post-Oscar screenplay after Juno made her the darling of unlikely success stories, former stripper turned writer Diablo Cody once again fancies herself as the female John Hughes by bringing a now recognisable trademark of supposedly hip, pop culture infused slang and lingo to her young characters. Sure it's self-consciousness pretentiousness that her characters can barely get through a sentence without throwing a curveball on the dialogue with phrases like "lime-green jello" (as in green with envy/jealous) or "Jesus Fries" (Jesus Christ burning?) but she kind of does them in quick-fire spurts and she never lingers on it. Cody's screenplay is 2/3rd's fine but suffers a weak third act, and with a better director, it could have been a huge hit. Last century's Carrie (De Palma), Cat People (80's version by Schrader), Heathers (Lehmann from a Dan Waters screenplay) were all better movies than Jennifer's Body, but because of the female screenwriter, we delve deeper into new waters and new avenues that weren't explored previous. They bring something new to the concept of a demonic possessed hottie who eats the flesh of teenage boys. The inciting incident isn't much. Basically Megan Fox's character becomes a demonic monster when a local Indie band (fronted by Adam Brody from The O.C. who played the part well because he is one of those snotty young musicians who you just want to punch) decide to sacrifice her thinking she's a virgin because it will make them big stars. We don't find out this until the end of the 2nd act. God knows why because it's not much of a revelation for a tease but there you go. It wasn't really the plot I was fascinated with. Instead, what I enjoyed from Jennifer's Body was that it's wasn't so much about man's anxieties of the female form like most movies in this genre but instead it's about women's anxieties over their own image. The lesbian themes to the movie simply can't be ignored and in some ways the men in the movie just get in the way. The real heart of the flick is the confusing relationship between the confident, "Snowflake Queen", high school beauty Jennifer (Megan Fox) and her best friend, the awkward, insecure, mousy Anita, but who everyone calls Needy (Amanda Seyfried). Needy is well, needy, and as clever asDiablo Cody is as a screenwriter, she wasn't particularly subtle on that one. Fox (left) plays the possessed cheerleader with the line delivery of a porn star, whilst Seyfried (right) gives a memorable performance as the smart but uncomfortable teenager Needy. Even though Needy is painted as a broad stereotype, Cody smartly gives her a boyfriend (though he has the name Chip Dove, which tells you everything you need to know about that character) who adores her, and another boy in school, a kind of a goth/emo piercings guy who isn't hitting on Jennifer all day but is actually seemingly in love with Needy. So she's got two guys after her, so she's hardly a Laurie Strode. It's just too bad that Jennifer does remain a cliche as the movie moves too quickly from it's first act into the second and it really robs us of getting to know Jennifer as a character before she becomes possessed. I defy anyone to watch this and try and remember that she started off life as a cheerleader in the movie because any characterisation for her is quickly forgotten about. But Needy is a fully rounded character and our emotional investment stays with her. The movie sets up the idea that they have been best friends for life because they used to play together in the sandbox as adolescents and remarkably they have stayed friends as their physical appearances, likes/dislikes, and their social status have gone in completely different directions. No one can quite understand it but they are still best friends despite having nothing in common with each other. Megan Fox's early attempts to break out from Transformers with this movie and How To Lose Friends And Alienate People have been ok, I think. Now I've read quite a few critics who have claimed the lesbian angle the movie takes briefly is just so it can try and beat out Cruel Intentions as the most erotic girl on girl kiss ever put on film but I disagree. What Cody is exploring here is, and yes I am prepared to be brought up on this given my sexuality and my obvious lack of real knowledge about what women are really feeling, but I'd say that it's probably common that at some point in their lives, women become sexually attractive, or at least curious about their friends, in this way. Girls are much closer than male friends in this sense, or at least that's how it looks from me looking in from the outside. So what I took from this movie is that once Needy rejects Jennifer in the bedroom... she turns real nasty and goes after Needy's boyfriend. The movie isn't so much about a female devourer of men, as it is a high school beauty who fell for her best friend but got turned down. That's what I took from it anyway. Jennifer's Body suffers a really bad third act where everything is setup for a big 80's horror movie kind of finale (they have the prom event, they have the band who made Fox a demon returning to play a tribute song, they have the showdown between Needy and her boyfriend and Jennifer) but instead it jump cuts to a lame ending in the pool, then Jennifer's bedroom. You almost can't believe they end the movie there when a such a big set piece ending would have been so much more fitting.