When "Jennifer's Body" came out in 2009, people kind of hated it. Or at least, that's how it seemed. What was this campy and over-sexualized story about a teenage girl who eats human boys? The film received mixed reviews with most of them falling into the "this is terrible" camp, and even though Roger Ebert gave the movie three out of four stars, he still referred to the whole thing as "'Twilight' for boys" which, honestly, feels like he missed the whole point.
"Jennifer's Body" is most definitely not "Twilight" and most definitely not "for boys." Instead, it's a smart exploration of the ways men use women in order to reach the peak of success. Directed by Karyn Kusama, the movie stars Megan Fox as Jennifer Check, the super hot teen girl who is predictably a cheerleader and unpredictably best friends with Needy Lesnicki. Played by Amanda Seyfried, Needy is the polar opposite of Jennifer in every way. She is not the girl who the male classmates fawn over, but despite their differences, she and Jennifer maintain a close bond.
When the two girls attend a concert by up-and-coming rock band Low Shoulder (fronted by "The OC"nerdy heartthrob, Adam Brody), a fire at the dive bar dampens their evening. Something seriously strange happens to Jennifer during the chaos, and though she eventually seems to go back to normal, she's actually been accidentally turned into a succubus by the band members during a sacrifice gone wrong. Yikes.
Over the years, "Jennifer's Body" has slowly turned itself around to become a beloved cult classic. Today, it is often lauded as a smart film that was ahead of its time. However, there's one person who was surprised by the movie's change in status: Megan Fox.
A Surprising Realization
In an interview with Vulture, Megan Fox talked about her relationship with "Jennifer's Body." The Q&A dives deep into interesting topics like how Fox was able to tap into the many layers of Jennifer in order to portray her in a believable, heartfelt way. However, one of the most surprising pieces of information to come out of the interview is that Fox was relatively oblivious to the fan-led campaign to reevaluate "Jennifer's Body" and give it the proper recognition it deserves.
She told Vulture, "I didn't really understand how it had grown since we released it," saying that she typically stays off the Internet (good call, Megan), relying on others to let her know when something major is happening with her work. "I didn't really understand how the movie continued to gain fans through the years," she explained. "I have in recent years noticed a lot of Jennifer Checks out at Halloween, but this year all of a sudden, there were all these requests for the ten-year anniversary and celebrating it." This sudden, seemingly random burst of interest in a film that, by all accounts, was a box office flop at the time it was released, made Fox curious. "I started looking into it a little bit more," she said, "really understanding the impact that it's had, and I just didn't realize that it was being appreciated now the way that it is."
It's true that "Jennifer's Body" has been revisited with a better critical lens than the one first applied to it back in 2009, and thankfully, Fox — who is phenomenal in the film — is finally aware of its impact so that she can rightfully enjoy the celebration of her work.
Still Socially Relevant
Timing really is everything, and in Hollywood, it can make or break a movie's success. When "Jennifer's Body" was released in 2009, what it was trying to achieve with its whip-smart script (compliments of Diablo Cody of "Juno" fame) was simply too nuanced for even the savviest of critics at the time. The film has a lot to say about the objectification of women for male personal gain and the complexities of teenage female relationships, but this sharp criticism went largely unnoticed, eclipsed by the film's tongue-in-cheek reliance on, well, objectifying its women.
A deep dive into the life of "Jennifer's Body" published by Vox touches on how the movie would have perhaps been better received if it had come out during the #MeToo era. That seems to be the consensus everywhere, as critics and fans consistently sing the film's praises these days, lamenting that it would have perhaps had a bigger and better life if it had come out during a period where the cultural moment aligned with what it was trying to achieve. However, despite the fact that "Jennifer's Body" wasn't immediately celebrated upon its release, it still managed to make a name for itself over the years.
Imagine that. A female-directed and written film took longer than normal to garner the respect that it deserves. What's that they say about art imitating life?
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The post The Cult Status Of Jennifer's Body Snuck Up On Megan Fox appeared first on /Film.