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The Jennifer's Body Post

Updated: Oct 31

Fall of 2009 feels simultaneously like two and twenty years ago; a distant lifetime away and also within reach. June of that year Facebook overtook Myspace as the most popular social network in America and the idea of a Fourth-Wave Feminism through the internet became a hot blog topic, both negative and positive. Amid this chaos bubbling and building beneath the surface Jennifer’s Body (2009) premiered and Hell officially became a teenage girl.


INTRODUCTION & MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

At the time I was the age of 13 and I planned to sneak into the R-rated feature despite having a baby face to this day. Lo and behold, thirteen-year-old me had to not so patiently wait for the movie to hit a premium channel because I didn’t have any adults who shared my interest in horror or who I would’ve felt comfortable asking to take me. I loved Transformers and had been a Megan Fox fan since her performance in Holiday in the Sun, the 2001 Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen island vacation movie. If a target audience member existed it would’ve been me.


The moment it became available I set up a DVR recording, which I would end up watching when I couldn’t sleep for the next four years of high school, making sure it didn’t get deleted when we moved from place to place. The first time I watched Jennifer’s Body it entranced me, turning me into an immediate “stan” before such a concept had become popular. I couldn’t understand why people online, specifically on Twitter, disliked it so much. I wanted to be Jennifer even though I naturally related more with Needy.


I found the movie relatable and comforting, I could see myself and my relationships in the characters. Being so close with a best friend they’re more like a toxic significant other than your actual boyfriend. Always forgiving one another despite lashing out because it’s always been that way. It felt like maybe, just maybe, I could be understood and seen in more places than just my corners of the internet.


Be it teenage angst or the silent, simmering female rage throughout, I felt the movie spoke to me in a secret language. Unlike the critics who went to see the movie I didn’t mind if Jennifer ate all the boys in the movie as long as I got to watch. She’s a character that is both desirable and unhinged, imperfect. Needy is the opposite, very much hinged, sometimes so clued into reality she misses red flags of the supernatural nature, also imperfect.

Watching it back today is like stepping into a time capsule except you’re still bumping Fall Out Boy on all your playlists. Jokes tended on the side of quirky and the entanglements of toxic female friendship got brushed aside as commonplace, normal, and even expected amongst modern teenage girls. Before we knew the language of psychology, now viral on TikTok, we didn’t know how to describe the weight of these relationships we all seemed to have or the potential lasting effects.



EXAMINATION

BOX OFFICE, RECEPTION, & CRITIQUE

The campaign for the movie, created by an agency working solely on behalf of the studio’s best interest, portrayed an image of a low-thought late-aughts comedy hellbent on relegating women and what a woman can be to the most Andrew-Tate-adjacent definition. The male dominated industry only saw what Jennifer’s Body looks like on the surface–hot girl becomes demon succubus and most likely some misfit boy, probably the Chip character, will defeat her while finding himself…and then go off to college and use it as evidence of growth.

To the dismay of teenage boys and Hollywood movie bloggers the film didn’t deliver on its promise of a fully naked Megan Fox, one of the two female leads, but did deliver a compelling horror movie focused on teen girls reckoning their closest relationships amid toxic standards. After sitting through over an hour and forty-minutes of what they did not expect, reviewers and critics took to blogs, magazines, and the papers to diss Jennifer’s Body, its screenwriter, Diablo Cody, and Fox.

In stark contrast to Cody and Fox’s treatment, Karyn Kusama, the director, and Amanda Seyfried, the other lead, did not receive nearly the same level of vitriol. After reading the script, director Karyn Kusama signed onto the movie in 2008 noting she wanted to be involved with an imaginative and original project like Jennifer’s Body. Most involved in the movie stated how they wanted to work on oddball-like projects, including producers, yet the only ones held so harshly to the standard of normative big screen movies are Cody and Fox.

The backlash began prior to the movie’s release with questionings about both Cody and Fox’s artistic abilities, or perceived lack thereof. In a 2018 Vox article titled “How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today” the author Constance Grady explains the reception of the movie as “knee jerk misogyny” and points out the movie’s use of the “female gaze” which is a concept that had not even been named at the time.


With hindsight it is easy to see that the issue is less-so the movie itself and more-so the women who made it. Rather than characterizing the perception at the time of the film’s release, I’ve included some quotes from articles:

  1. “Being a lead (like Megan)...you have that weird pressure of feeling like you have to look attractive.” a direct quote from Amanda Seyfried and “I plan on sucking up my Fox-hate for a few hours and seeing Jennifer’s Body in September. Will You?” - from “Amanda Seyfried rolls her eyes about kissing Megan Fox” by Jen Sabella on AfterEllen.com, August 18, 2009

  2. “For all its pedigree, the film is an all-too-routine fright flick saddled with lazy writing and characterization and not much in the way of suspense or terror.” - from “‘Jennifer’s Body’ fails at horror and comedy” by Alonso Duralde on Today.com, September 17, 2009

  3. “From her earlier days and nights as blogger and a pole dancer, screenwriter Diablo Cody knows a lot about the power of eyeballs, the predominance of the male gaze and the raging narcissism that feeds so many personalities, good and evil.” - from “How bad do you want it?” by Michael Phillips in Chicago Tribune, September 18, 2009

  4. “Jennifer’s Body seems designed more to be quoted than watched.” and “Lines like “Sandbox love never dies,” could be lyrics to the Warped Tour riffs to which Fox slo-mo sashays at the camera” - from Jennifer’s Bodyby Nick Pinkerton on SFWeekly.com, September 18 2009

  5. “So, what’s with all the Diablo hate? Don’t a lot of authors create their own vibe?...I’m fascinated by the criticism that Diablo receives for creating a language, as if that, as a writer, is some unspeakable horror. It’s as if people haven’t read ‘Trainspotting’ or watched ‘A Clockwork Orange’ …or listened to a f–cking Shakespeare, as far as I’m concerned.” and “... ‘oh, so this is so appalling that a woman decides to take language back and create it for herself in a meaningful way?’ That’s what gets me, is I ultimately feel like it’s a subtle referendum on her entitlement to her art and there’s a sense that she doesn’t deserve it and that pisses me off a lot.” - Karyn Kusama quotes from ‘Jennifer’s Body’ Director Karyn Kusama On Women In Hollywood, Diablo Cody and Outsiders” by Jenni Miller on MTV.com, September 18, 2009

  6. “It’s almost as if no one knows what to do with Megan Fox. They eye her appraisingly…and then hand her a script. They hope for the best. They release a vapid and directionless film. Someone else stumbles on a photo of her…The cycle of abuse continues.” - from “Review: Jennifer’s Body–Cute Dialogue, Less Filling” by Laremy Legel on MTV.com, September 18, 2009

  7. “The starlet worked it as hard as she could, but that can’t stop a simple truth about the box office: horror-comedies always tank.” - from “Did Jennifer’s Body Bomb Because of Megan Fox?” by Leslie Gornstein on EOnline.com, September 21, 2009

  8. “Megan Fox wields her sexuality like a blunt object–a sledgehammer in lipgloss–in the new horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body.” and “You can’t imagine the character working half as well with any of today’s other brittle young actors, and Fox seems to know it.” - from Jennifer’s Body by Joshua Rothkopf in Time Out New York, Issue 729: September 17-23, 2009

  9. “I feel like I was mocking the way people perceive me in real life…People assume that I’m self-obsessed or a typical narcissistic starlet…stupid, manipulative, boy crazy…whatever–all of those things.” and “There’s nothing to distract you from my performance. So if it’s bad it’s going to be f–cking bad for me. And if it’s good, then I will have achieved something on some level.” - quotes from Megan Fox cited in the article “Megan Fox Predicted ‘Jennifer’s Body’ Could Be A ‘Complete Failure’” by Eric Ditzian on MTV.com, September 29, 2009

  10. “Brody thinks the movie’s female leads and crew should have taken center stage. “The film was directed by a woman, starring two women, written by that year’s screenwriting Oscar winner…And instead they’re like ‘Let’s bury all of that. Don’t tell anyone that. This is for people who like Transformers.’” - direct quote from Adam Brody in “Adam Brody says the negative reaction to Jennifer’s Body ‘felt s–ty,’ film’s poster ‘missed the mark” by Emlyn Travis on EW.com, February 18, 2023

The gendered criticisms, harsh language, and lack of sound critique characterized many women-centric projects of the time, especially in male-dominated genres like horror. The perception, documented on web archives, is a good pop culture comparison to life for Hollywood actresses prior to the #MeToo movement. Despite Fox’s successful performances on the big screen and Cody’s Academy Award for Best Screenplay Writer most critics automatically dismissed them and came away from the movie with no understanding of the nuance or commentary let alone the unique comedy. It also seemed that at times they reveled in their dislike of the film and treated it as confirmation of misogynistic beliefs about women rather than attempting to truly watch it.



BECOMING A CULT CLASSIC


In the shadows of this outspoken backlash, the intended audience of young women discovered the movie in relative obscurity, often rationalizing the negativity from the outer world and their personal interest in the story. The gap between the two created a perfect breeding ground for a Cult Classic Fandom and sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter fostered the perfect way for that fandom to gain membership. Like most cult-classics, fans argue Jennifer’s Body is overlooked by the general public and far more complex and thought provoking than most would imagine.

It’s worth noting that over half of the negative reviews mention the movie’s resemblance to the 80’s teen black comedy, Heathers, as an insult without realizing the film's creators intended it to be that way. It’s also clear as day to anyone interested that all of the main people who worked on this film not only took pride in their work but put care, effort, and genuinely thought provoking detail into all of the movie’s facets.

One example is that even the famous kissing scene is not just there to be there but rather serves a purpose tying back to the feminist notes throughout the movie. Cody has said that Kusama and her wanted the scene to be “profound and meaningful” noting their own experiences with teenage relationships became so intense they bordered on intimate. It’s realistic and authentic while addressing a standing question for the film, are they in love?



All areas of the production infused meaning into details like Fox wanting Jennifer to wear almost childlike clothing at times to juxtapose her adult-heavy behaviors or how they did the snake-like jaw opening special effects for demon Jennifer after much consideration. The way the sacrifice scenes are done with the band’s flippant view of Jennifer as only a body and a means to an end, alluding to seeing all women that way as they speak to one another as if she’s not there.

The movie’s various perspectives are all women-focused, even the male characters who become victims are background to the actual story. There are endless examples like those that can express how well Karyn Kusama, Diablo Cody, Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, and everyone else involved in the making of this movie did with their dedication to the film’s message and essence.


With a better understanding of the circumstances in Hollywood, the gendered media backlash of the time, and the weirdly misguided promo campaign it is clear as day why the movie’s fans might not have originally discovered the film. A huge tipping point in the movie’s trajectory came in the form of its own advertising campaign. With hindsight from the future and post-Roe era discussions about gender we can see the failure of the film’s marketing strategy mis-communicating what the movie was about and drawing in the wrong audience.

Some called it back in 2009, one article by Jenni Miller stating, “Many women were turned off by the initial red band trailer for “Jennifer’s Body,” which featured a sexy lip lock between Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, among other instances of typically tantalizing shots of Fox being foxy,” on MTV.com. Not just the woman audience got alienated however, the teen audience got largely pushed out of the theater by the R rating. Another article by Leslie Goldstein quotes a box-office analyst on Jennifer’s Body box office flop, “So you have an R-rated film marketed to whom, exactly?” on EOnline.com.

In 2018 an article published in BuzzFeed states Kusama and screenwriter Cody knew that the ad campaigns and company that made them did not align with the movie they’d actually made. The trailer garnered ire from women as a cash grab meant to draw in men attracted to Fox. Horror movies used to go hand in hand with female exploitation or “sexploitation,” the genre earning that stigma when most blockbusters focused on which young starlet might appear naked on the big screen rather than the scary story.

Cody and Kusama stated that at one point the marketing firm they’d worked with replied, “Jennifer sexy, she steal your boyfriend,” to their inquiries about the marketing campaign. Much of the focus centered on Megan Fox’s sexual appeal and cannibal innuendos than the comedic indie horror about female’s experiences as teenagers that Jennifer’s Body is.


To imagine someone not seeing the story as focused on a complicated friendship bordering on obsession and the desperation to protect others from her wrath while maintaining her affection is mind blowing-ly shallow. To see the movie as only a boy-eating teenage girl who’s fate is inexplicably aligned with the male band doing anything for success willfully misses the point in favor of sexist ideas about women.


The movie’s appeal to the feminine is extremely deep-Cody even saying she sees the horror genre as having always been inherently feminist leaning. Specifically Cody regards the trope of a strong woman, or Final Girl, left standing at the end of the movie partially intact, displaying grit and strength traditionally reserved for their male presenting counterparts, to exemplify feminist ideals.

The article by Grady in Vox mentioned earlier said it best in 2018, “Jennifer’s Body is good now. More precisely, Jennifer’s Body was always good, and everyone is just now starting to get on its level,” couldn’t be more true, especially five years later. Since the pandemic and the end of Roe v. Wade protections in the United States society in general progressed to more liberal stances regarding gender, race, and sexuality at hyper speed. Personally, this is amazing and the more progress the better. A lot of that progress is propped up on giving women their power back, and even exploring hyperfemininity as a way to do that.

The term “bimbofication” is a more positive way to approach femininity than “#girlboss feminism” that became “The year of the bimbo” in 2021. Reclaiming the slur ‘bimbo’ the ideas behind bimbofication are anti-capitalism and anti-MAGA, rooted in the goal of eliminating the barriers put in place by academia that would traditionally exclude those considered “bimbos” from conversations around gender and society. Mostly credited to Gen-Z, bimbofication is a left-leaning ideology centered around femininity. Bimbofication also promotes the idea that “The Girls, Gays, and Theys” are the only opinions that matter and that men are disposable and for benefit, very similar to how Jennifer views men.


Not feminism, which by definition is the pursuit of gender equality, but an offshoot of more radical ideas about gender that subvert the patriarchy into a matriarchy similar to what this movie does for the horror genre. More “go best friend, that’s my best friend” than “kill all men” Jennifer’s Body may seem anti-man but is more pro-woman than anything else.



BARBENHEIMER & WHERE WE ARE WITH WOMEN CENTRIC MEDIA

We can look back to the summer of 2023 “Barbenheimer” showdown to see an example of pro-women media being mistaken for anti-man media. Barbenheimer marked the release of two polar opposite movies with polar opposite target audiences vying for box office success pitted up against one another. From my POV, and For You page, it seemed like a Man vs. Woman showdown. After years of building friction over who dominates media (and thus is the focus of media for the foreseeable future) a reasonable cultural temperature test could be conducted.

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Both Barbie, directed by Greta Getwig, and Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, both received attention long before release for clickable headlines regarding budget, distribution disputes, high budgets, and a brewing SAG-AFTRA strike start that drew anticipation around their respective releases and subsequent receptions.


Neither movie suffered however, both benefiting from an unprecedented level of organic advertising in addition to their large marketing budgets, with historic box office numbers. Raking in over $2 billion on opening weekend alone, Barbenheimer both paid off for their respective studios’ investments.


With all of that in mind, that both movies surpassed expectations in both earnings and reviews, Barbie won that hands down. Not only did Barbie’s numbers dwarf those of Oppenheimer but the media spent the next few weeks making sure the coverage did not focus on how embarrassingly Oppenheimer lost to Barbie.


I would bet money that if Barbie had sucked and failed miserably like many Team Oppenheimer proponents had prophesied online we would’ve never heard the end of how much women suck and shouldn’t be allowed to even have leadership roles let alone be high-budget directors in the film industry. Just to put this into perspective: Barbie grossed $162,022,044 domestically during its opening which is an extremely easy number to find and on the other hand Oppenheimer grossed half of that at $82,455,420 domestically during opening (aka Oppenheimer made only 51% of what Barbie made). Today, in October of 2023, Barbie has grossed a staggering $1.44 billion worldwide and Oppenheimer $945 million, both still not fully released on streaming and to purchase.

Margot Robbie in Barbie
Margot Robbie in Barbie

Barbie has gone on to be a cultural phenomenon and is reviving a dying toy brands’ titular product while opening the floodgates to women-centered and women-led media projects. Oppenheimer still gets acclaim but has come in at the third highest grossing film of 2023, not the second, not the first, third. Which would be fine if the narrative leaned toward Oppenheimer being just an alright movie, not a masterpiece but a blockbuster and that Barbie is in fact a cultural masterpiece that reignited the love of being a woman.


Barbie has carried the torch that movies like Jennifer’s Body, visual albums like Electra Heart, and the supportive drunk girl meme started on the internet, letting girls and women be whatever they are, imperfectly perfect, and encouraging them to have pride in that.



NEEDY & JENNIFER'S RELATIONSHIP


Nowadays we’d probably refer to Needy and Jennifer’s relationship as that of high school frenemies or queer coded. Queer coding refers to characters being LGBTQ without it explicitly being confirmed during the film. I suppose Jennifer’s Body is less coded than just queer if taking into account the kiss right after Jennifer says, “But we always share your bed when we have slumber parties,” and the famous “I go both ways” double entendre line in the pool fight scene.

Nevertheless, it’s not confirmed if either of them even wants to be in a romantic relationship with one another or if they are just blending romantic relationship attributes into their friendship while coming to terms with sexuality. This take-away confirms that Diablo wrote the film in such a way that the core essence of it comes through the screen, the conflict of the relationship embodies the turmoil that is being a teen navigating your first loves and obsessions stacked in a horror bun.

In addition to examining the queer aspects of their relationship we can also examine the inner workings of the toxic friendship. On a Bullying Recovery Resource Center blog post, “I Thought We Were Friends!” refers to frenemies as friends who have become bullies and goes on to declare that professionals determined you cannot be friends with someone who treats you poorly, which is fair.


The controlling and intense behaviors indicative of this type of relationship are riddled throughout the movie; when Needy makes a decision about what to wear based on what Jennifer will like and approve of, at the bar when Needy questions Jennifer and gets a condescending lecture about sex appeal, or when Jennifer blatantly flirts with Chip in front of Needy to upset her.

An NBC News article from 2011 cited Today.com and Self.com to state 84% of women have a toxic friend at some point in their life, and I’d imagine many were like the friendship between the two main characters.


I wanted to dive deeper into the inner workings of relationships like this and how it is shown through storytelling tools in Jennifer’s Body to prove just how thoughtful the film is. A Women’s Health article, “15 Signs You’re In A Toxic Friendship According To Experts,” seems

click-bait-y but simplifies the complex subject matter into a BuzzFeed style list backed by experts. After quickly remembering examples for each sign, I believe their friendship doesn’t just clearly exemplify a few of the signs of toxicity, but all of them, hitting the nail on the head but with good storytelling.

Number one is literally “you’re giving more than you’re getting” which basically defines the whole plot from Needy’s POV. She often goes above and beyond for Jennifer, cleaning up the black goo vomit without asking anything of Jennifer but an explanation, defending her when others bring up her bad behavior, and ultimately avenging her death even after she kills Needy’s boyfriend, Chip.

Number two, “you no longer trust them” is the second half of the film when Needy starts to pay more attention to the demon red flags and rather than blindly following Jennifer she questions her. Once she begins to connect the dots she no longer trusts Jennifer to even be left unsupervised around Chip for fear she’ll just eat him…or make out with him.


Number three and four are, “you dread checking your phone” and “you don’t enjoy spending time with them” show up in one of the most iconic scenes from the movie. After eating a football player in the woods behind the school Jennifer is feeling herself and calls Needy.

Burning her tongue mid-convo with a lighter only for her blackened, burnt tongue to immediately heal and states, “I am a God,” to Needy but Needy seems annoyed to have Jennifer even calling in such a good mood despite all of the tragedy in town. She ends up putting Jennifer on hold to answer Chip’s call. This is in stark contrast to the start of the movie when Needy cannot focus on anything not related to Jennifer even when hanging out with Chip.


Furthermore, in the first quarter of the movie most scenes have both characters and we know what’s going on in Jennifer’s life through Needy’s POV but as the film progresses we know less and less about her and most of what we do know we learn by watching her rather than through Needy. We see the magnetism through the eyes of the magnet until they start losing pull with one another and become separate entities for the first time.

This goes directly into number five, "you don't like yourself when you're with them," a very recognizable sign that someone is not the best for you to be around. Needy pieces together what Jennifer is doing and when her confrontation to stop the behavior falls short, she tells Chip the details and warns it's not safe for them to be together, further isolating herself.


Number six, "you know they talk shit about you," – when Jennifer convinces Chip to go to the abandoned pool with her to make out she bad mouths Needy and lies about Needy's feelings while representing herself as an authority on the matter. Of course, Chip is also responsible for listening to Jennifer, who he claims to dislike so much, over believing his girlfriend is telling the truth that Jennifer is eating boys.

Number seven, "you compete with them," – showing up as the push and pull with how to handle the predicament Jennifer is in, whether it’s a curse to be cured or a blessing to revel in. Needy is naive and slower to come to reality whereas Jennifer makes the best out of the traumatic events and avoids processing her murder by enjoying her newfound demon-hood. Jennifer wants to eat boys and tell her BFF about it (maybe make her a little jealous too), but Needy wants to stop boys in her town from being murdered by a hungry Jennifer.


Jennifer is also noticeably disappointed when Needy is able to distract Chip from her attention with physical affection thus making him an unavailable victim and in the same scene does a complete 180 on her interest in Colin’s date request when she finds out Needy is friends with him. Both actions literally push Jennifer to take Colin up on a date with him that she originally rejected five seconds earlier with the plan to eat him now that she’s realized the good aspects of demon-hood wear off and she starts to deteriorate if she doesn’t eat people.

Number eight is self explanatory: you don't think they have good intentions. Personally, I don't hate the idea of Jennifer eating people like a Dexter setup, however the boys she chooses to eat in the movie don't deserve it. This logically makes her intentions bad even if one argues that she is only eating boys to stay alive and well now that she's more demon than girl, it doesn’t matter which boys she's eating because it’s all relative.


I believe intention is a big reason we are able to view Needy in a more positive light by the end of the film. She did kill her best friend but with her newfound demon-bite-induced abilities she is going after greater evils like the bandmates from Low Shoulder that sacrificed Jennifer to go viral. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with the next sign, "you can't depend on their advice" as Jennifer is proven to lie to get what she wants and obviously stands in opposition to Needy’s goal of keeping everyone relatively innocent safe.

Number ten, "you're embarrassed by their behavior toward others," is ratcheted up a notch by Jennifer's behavior being murderous rather than just rude or some small slight. It would stand within reason that Needy is not only confused by Jennifer's behavior but scared, angry, appalled, righteous, and disgusted. One moment of actual embarrassment does exist though, when their science teacher, Mr. Wroblewski, breaks the news about the fire and Jennifer responds to one classmate breaking down in tears by laughing. Right before this Needy has to defend their story to another classmate who is our first sign that Low Shoulder is walking away from this tragedy looking like heroes rather than the fire starting murderers they are.

The only sign included in the list that could be argued doesn't apply to the friendship of Needy and Jennifer, number eleven, "you feel used". Both Needy and Jennifer arguably use one another for personal gain but it's undeniable that they love and care for one another and despite playing high school games gone wrong they would, if need be, stop in order to protect one another. I believe that Needy in a lot of ways believes she is helping Jennifer by killing her in the end, releasing her from being a demon and stopping her from continuing down the path she's on. While this is one possibility, it's also arguable that Jennifer knowingly manipulates and influences Needy when she doesn't get her way, for example gaslighting Needy that she came to her house and threw up in her kitchen.

Number thirteen, "you don't know why you're friends with them," can be drawn back to Needy's feelings that their friendship has always been bad for Needy and not beneficial but that it continues due to its history. Despite them making you feel crappy, often by criticizing you, which is number fourteen, "they criticize you. all. the. time.” Jennifer has conditioned Needy with criticism so much that she knows exactly what to do and not to do in order to not set Jennifer off. In the beginning she's quick to feed into Jennifer's wants and doesn't stand up for herself but by the end she's saying things she knows will piss Jennifer off, like Jennifer being irrelevant.

And finally, number fifteen, "they make you second guess yourself," which is all Jennifer does in order to make sure Needy doesn't expose her or stop her. Despite leading her to the answer and almost telling her multiple times she ultimately chooses to protect herself over confirming Needy’s suspicions. After telling Needy the truth following their moment of closeness after she eats Colin and Needy reacts in a way Jennifer didn’t expect she sows doubt in Needy's mind that she could be imagining things.


It’s clear that by the end Needy is taking things life and death seriously because they are and Jennifer is acting like they’re having a fight over a boy-toy, Chip. My read (which could be confirmed true or completely wrong somewhere in an interview or book already) is that Jennifer never expected Needy to actually leave her, no matter what.


They refer back to "Sandbox Love" in the movie and state that it never dies. There has not been a Needy and Jennifer without one another and the fear of the unknown had been bad enough to make them stick in their comfort zone together until this makes it impossible to ignore their growing apart anymore.

Jennifer chooses to leave after Needy impales her rather than just finishing her off and never seems to be trying that hard to kill Needy. She pretty easily eats men, one time with little more than a flirt and quick make out but with Needy it’s more playful than dangerous. The look on her face after Needy delivers the fatal blow is that of true heartbreak. Needy collapsing next to her afterwards only to fall off the bed is a great physical representation of the emotion after the climax of the movie.



CONCLUSION


Writing something that felt as thoughtful as my favorite movie deserved has been a nagging thought in my head for over a year–so much so that I avoided it all together. After writing something at 30% this is the rewrite that is probably closer to like 75% which is a big improvement to before. I hope to write more about Jennifer’s Body in the future, especially if there’s ever a reboot or additional project of some sort.


For now, sending a thank you out to the universe to the people who made this movie, it’s truly been one of my favorite movies and I don’t know how I would’ve made it through sleepless nights without it in my rotation.


Jennifer waving at Needy during a pep rally
Jennifer waving at Needy during a pep rally


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