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32 Responses

  1. Lauren
    Lauren September 21, 2009 at 9:50 pm | *

    Since I’m increasingly wooed by popcorn entertainment, I know I’m going to watch it. Thanks for the level review.

  2. Karen
    Karen September 21, 2009 at 10:17 pm |

    Nice reference to My So-Called Life! I enjoyed Jennifer’s Body.

  3. Mark
    Mark September 21, 2009 at 11:07 pm |

    I think you misunderstand why Cody and this film have become a target. In many ways DC has directly chosen to wear a bizarro mantle of under-intellectualized hipster faux-feminism that manages to simultaneously annoy 3rd wavers who don’t want to think they are just po-mo women who turn to burlesque for male attention and dominance feminists who think 3rd wavers refuse to take texts seriously and understand the history and struggles of feminism. This movie seems to fit the anger thrown at her, whether we like it or not. If Kanye West flirted with the rhetoric of civil rights, one might think that serious anti-racists would look at his output the way feminists are critical of DC and with good reason.

  4. Molly (the artist formerly known as Alexis)
    Molly (the artist formerly known as Alexis) September 21, 2009 at 11:07 pm |

    FINALLY! I thought I was the only person who liked it. I dug it a lot, in fact. I went into the movie with all the negative ends of the feminist blogosphere running through my head and didn’t see validation for a healthy chunk of the criticisms.

  5. Eghead
    Eghead September 22, 2009 at 12:04 am |

    I hate it for lots of reasons, but only one of them is worth expending energy on at 1 AM: If you’re going to use the title of one of the best– and fiercest– feminist rock songs ever, your movie must be at least as good. Anything else is just bringing down the Hole song, and that’s not okay with me. Seriously– “Jennifer’s Body” is a brutal song about violence against women, and now it’s going to be associated with this drivel. As if Hole’s legacy hasn’t been compromised enough…

  6. Mish's biggest fan
    Mish's biggest fan September 22, 2009 at 2:25 am |

    I call BULLSHIT on this false dichotomy between ‘model women/heroines’ and ‘more visibility’.

    I acknowledge that it’s a film set in high school and lots of relationships between women aren’t great during that time. I also don’t want women to be seen as good little angels in films, but it would be good for even ‘high school bitches’ to be fleshed out characters.

    Women are highly visible in films – most as empty, 2d characters. And to ride on cliches like Cody does in this film – ‘girl on girl crime’ – and then to get irritated when feminist blogs chew her out is hypocritical.

  7. Ellie
    Ellie September 22, 2009 at 5:38 am |

    Hey thanks for the review, you’ve made me actualy want to see the film, out of interest if nothing more.

    I’m finding it hard to understand all the harsh criticism. Just because the writer is female and has identified as a feminist that doesn’t mean she has to be the most right-on rad fem imaginable in her fiction work. She’s just a person.

  8. Sarah J
    Sarah J September 22, 2009 at 8:38 am |

    Thanks for giving this movie an honest viewing and critique. I still probably won’t see it, but I do hate the knee-jerk obsessive complaining about Diablo Cody the same way I hate knee-jerk obsessive complaining about Stephenie Meyer and Twilight. There are a hundred shitty books and movies out there by men for every shitty book or movie by a woman, and yet which ones do a lot of us obsess over?

  9. EKSwitaj
    EKSwitaj September 22, 2009 at 9:44 am |

    There seem to be a few good points in this review (I can’ t say for certain as I haven’t seen the movie), but I’m really tired of seeing the “knee-jerk” label applied to critiques with which people disagree. It’s an outstanding rhetorical strategy, as it positions your opponents as being irrational, but it doesn’t carry a lot of content as an argument.

  10. P.T. Smith
    P.T. Smith September 22, 2009 at 10:13 am |

    Thanks for this thought out review response. I still doubt I’ll see this in theaters, but you’ve raise my interest in it more than Ive had before. At first I was a little interested, then after reviews I stopped caring mostly entirely, now I’m looking forward to seeing it on DVD someday.

  11. greg
    greg September 22, 2009 at 10:34 am |

    yeah, this just doesn’t look like that good of a movie. i think i’ll stay at home and pop in 3 women, a much better and creepier film with good acting. hopefully fox will choose a role that isn’t a cliche, but i seriously doubt that

  12. me and not you
    me and not you September 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |

    “in the case of some bloggers, commenting on the kiss as glorifying bisexuality or trying to lure teenage boys, without even seeing the movie.”

    “The kiss”, in the previews, is doing just that. Because we all know that it happens, even if we haven’t seen the movie. Even if I didn’t have a horrible aversion to gore, I seriously doubt I would go see the movie in large part because of the way it was marketed. Too much “o! sexy sexy! female sex, female violence!” and to me (a non-horror lover, granted) seems to be the same pull as something like “sorority row” or whatever it’s called.

  13. Dion
    Dion September 22, 2009 at 11:30 am |

    I think Diablo should have just foregone this film option, shelved it. This is a step down from Juno. A pity really. It doesn’t matter how attractive or photogenic actresses are, this film is just a mash of every other b-grade horror flick of the last two decades. Hardly original.
    To me, it’s not the kiss or the feminist issue…even though girls kissing girls is soooooooooo Ally McBeal and, frankly, a bit stale. I don’t get why feminists really concern themselves with pop-cult b grade horror films. They’re just films. It’s fiction. It’s just a writer having a stab (pardon the pun) at a genre. If feminists are having issues, then maybe they need to focus on other issues. This film is forgettable.

  14. Natalie
    Natalie September 22, 2009 at 11:45 am |

    Wait… the dorky heroine is *named* Needy? That’s so…. Dickensian.

  15. cacophonies
    cacophonies September 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |

    @Sarah J:

    There are a hundred shitty books and movies out there by men for every shitty book or movie by a woman, and yet which ones do a lot of us obsess over?

    Really excellent point.

  16. preying mantis
    preying mantis September 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm |

    “Wait… the dorky heroine is *named* Needy? That’s so…. Dickensian.”

    Presumably she’s only nicknamed Needy.

  17. La BellaDonna
    La BellaDonna September 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm |

    Greg … “hopefully fox will choose a role that isn’t a cliche, but i seriously doubt that”

    Greg, a LOT of it has to do with what ROLES Fox is offered. There just aren’t that many roles for women in the movies. There just aren’t. Most of Hollywood’s “A” list movies have a bunch of different roles – those are played by guys. And then there’s The Girlfriend (who doesn’t understand the hero). That’s played (usually) by a woman. There are some “A-” movies, in which there is The Mom (who doesn’t understand the hero) or The Wife (who doesn’t understand the hero). I can pretty much promise you that you will never see a year in which Hollywood’s “A” list movies have 50% of the parts, including the leads, played by women.

    From the review, it sounds as if TWO women got to play actual LEAD CHARACTERS, which makes them luckier than most Hollywood actresses.

    I, too, doubt that Fox will get to play a role that isn’t a cliche, but I doubt that it will be by choice.

  18. tofubo
    tofubo September 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm |

    saw it last weekend and was…disappointed, not sure why

    (was expecting vampires and got satan instead ??)

    a much better film was “let the right one in” and i hate subtitled movies

  19. Lauren
    Lauren September 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm | *

    here are a hundred shitty books and movies out there by men for every shitty book or movie by a woman, and yet which ones do a lot of us obsess over?

    Word to that. I’m a little tired of expecting woman-made media to be 100% feminist pure — it strikes me as just another opportunity to strike down successful working women. I don’t need my entertainment to be ideologically pure, I just want a good story, or at least an interesting story, that passes the Bechdel test. This seems to do that, while also playing with some interesting stereotypes.

    I admit to being amused at the idea of imagining what happens when your “virgin sacrifice” isn’t a virgin.

  20. Phrone
    Phrone September 22, 2009 at 11:01 pm |

    I don’t really like gore, but I want to see it because it seems like the only film where women are actually central characters — not just supporting characters for a main, male protagonist.

  21. Torri
    Torri September 23, 2009 at 4:51 am |

    the thing that turned me off the movie right away was that it was playing on the tired old trope of ‘female sexuality is bad and scary!’ with the ‘evil’ girl sleeping with and killing the poor unsuspecting high school guys and only the ‘good’ girl who doesn’t sleep around can stop her. Sure it’s nice that another girl is the one to stop her but the premise did nothing for me. That said after reading this review I might watch it if I see it on TV.
    I’d recommend ‘A Tale of two Sisters’ and ‘Shutter’ (both the original asian films not their US remakes) both are more psychological horror and have very interesting relationships between female characters and a whole lot of twists. (Though I would put a great big trigger warning on Shutter)

  22. Natalia
    Natalia September 23, 2009 at 5:28 am |

    Word to that. I’m a little tired of expecting woman-made media to be 100% feminist pure

    And I am a lot tired.

  23. Thursday Blogwhoring « random babble…
    Thursday Blogwhoring « random babble… September 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm |

    […] Nona:  “Jennifer’s Body”, and the feminists who hate it. […]

  24. bethrjacobs
    bethrjacobs September 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm |

    For a true feminist writer/producer who died about a year ago. Not perfect but she tried

  25. Dena
    Dena October 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm |

    I think you must be straight.

    I feel lonely, I feel marginalized, I feel masculinized when something that turns me on is decried as being done for the male gaze. Girls kissing girls will never be stale for me. It was never for scoring feminist points and it will not become an old, tired tactic.

    There’s more than the kiss in this movie for those of us girls who like girls. Especially for those of us who made out with friends who ended up presenting themselves as completely straight. For those of you who saw the movie, you might remember that Jennifer also proposed to Needy that they play boyfriend/girlfriend like they used to, implying an ongoing sexual element in their relationship. Needy seemed stripped of something in that moment, some friendly shield she’d been using to hide that she liked the sexual aspect of her relationship with Jennifer.

    Though I shed that shield long ago, it gave me a heart-twinge to watch the manipulative Jennifer use it to prod Needy and get a reaction.

    And I might have missed something, but how does everyone know that Needy was a virgin?

  26. Dena
    Dena October 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm |

    Sorry, technical glitch. I meant to put Dion’s comment in the block quote: “…even though girls kissing girls is soooooooooo Ally McBeal and, frankly, a bit stale” and have my response be non-blocked.

  27. kb
    kb October 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm |

    Dena-you don’t find a difference between girls kissing girls for girls who like other girls vs. girls kissing girls for boys? I’m asking because what I’ve heard in gossip sessions from queer women is the opposite-that they can tell, and it’s boring when straight girls pretend. but I don’t know how general that complaint is.

  28. Dena
    Dena October 8, 2009 at 4:01 pm |

    I appreciate your question because it makes me think further and explain myself better.

    What lays behind my annoyance is this: I feel like this sexualized interaction stemmed from a sexualized relationship between the characters. I think that the actors succeeded in kissing as though it was something they fought and wanted.

    It seems like the “stale” comment came from a point of view where bisexuality or dykedom had its moment and should fade off into never-never-land with shoulder pads and other fads. Well, for some of us, we kissed girls before Ally McBeal did (I’m assuming she did, though I never watched) and we’ll continue kissing girls far into old age, please.

    I’ve seen a lot of girl-kissing that was torn up by critics because of context or characterization, but that made me squirm with happy-pants. Great acting, ladies…if you didn’t like it, that is. Girls kissing girls for a camera – they are always pretending, in that their acting. So it’s their acting ability that’s in question, not their desire.

    I have seen ridiculous, unrealistic kisses, ones that felt as though they were done for ratings or ticket sales. I have seen kisses between girls in movies so clearly marketed to boys that it’s amazing I was watching. And yeah – those are sometimes annoying. Even boring.

    I made a big leap in calling Dion straight. Maybe Dion is queer through-and-through but is tired of shallow representations of queerness. In that case, it may be a differing impression of how shallow this movie’s representation was.

  29. “Jennifer’s Body” and the feminists who hate it

    […] (cross-posted at Feministe) […]

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