Jennifer's Body could be worse, yes, worse
Jennifer's Body could be worse. The movie, starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, is screenwriter Diablo Cody's first since Juno came out two years ago. Juno was a fun but overrated little movie whose dialogue was way too "hip" to be realistic. Luckily, this time around, Cody tones down the nonsensical wordplay and random non-sequiturs to the point that her characters almost seem believable. Well, as believable as a movie about a demon-possessed cheerleader can be.
The basic plot: Jennifer (Fox) is the most popular girl at school, and her best friend is a nerd with the unfortunate nickname Needy (Seyfried). They go to a concert at a local bar one night. Jennifer is seduced by the band's lead singer, who then--as often happens, I imagine--murders her as part of a pact with Satan to help his band become more famous. It turns out, however, that the girl sacrificed needed to be a virgin, something Jennifer decidedly is not. So instead of dying, Jennifer comes back possessed by a demon who has to have sex with and then eat men in order to survive. Needy slowly catches on, and sets out to stop Jennifer. Hilarity ensues.
Easily the best thing in the movie is Seyfried. She makes Needy the only fully-developed person on screen. She's smart, tough and funny, and nowhere near as nerdy as the movie seems determined to make her out to be. Needy's relationship with her boyfriend, Chip (Johnny Simmons) seems genuine, and their scenes together were great. Adam Brody, who plays the evil band leader, steals every scene he's in by amping up the smarm to hilarious levels. As for Fox...she's okay. She can't act very well, but this movie doesn't really require her to. It's right there in the title: it's all about her body (and the demon in it), and you could do a lot worse than Fox's body. She did deliver one of my favorite lines, though. After finding out that the band members think she's a virgin, she replies, hurt, "But...but I'm not even a backdoor virgin!"
As for the plot, it takes what could have been a wicked idea for a dark comedy and does a pretty weak job of fleshing it out. The plot holes are gaping and frequent. So little is explained about Jennifer's demon possession that it's slightly ridiculous. Apparently, she's still in control of herself and partially human, but nevertheless chooses to kill and eat people. Or something. I don't really know. Everyone in the movie seems remarkably blasé that people in their high school keep getting savagely murdered. Also, the whole relationship between Jennifer and Needy is completely underdeveloped; to the point that I leaned over to the person I was seeing the movie with and muttered, "Why the hell are they even friends?" However, there's a gloriously random scene of Fox and Seyfried making out pretty heavily, so that's fun. The film makes up for its lack of coherence, somewhat, with an energetic cast and a sort of "anything goes" sensibility.
Is Jennifer's Body a good movie? No. Could it have been worse? Absolutely.