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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Jennifer's Body

By

Source: Catholic News Service

As scripted by "Juno" writer Diablo Cody, "Jennifer's Body" (Fox) is an unwieldy combination of comedy and horror that presents gore with relish and exploits adolescent sexuality.

The Jennifer of the title (Megan Fox) is a fetching but cynical student at a small-town high school who is both envied and despised by her peers. Despite her exalted social position, Jennifer has remained loyal to her friend-since-the-sandbox, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), constantly encouraging her timid, bespectacled pal to expand her horizons.

After a mysterious encounter with a visiting indie rock band led by scruffy singer Nikolai (Adam Brody), Jennifer is transformed into a cannibalistic demon preying on her male schoolmates. Needy gamely struggles to help, but eventually fears that her gentle boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) may become the next item on the monster's menu.

Director Karyn Kusama's failed attempt to satirize teen female rivalry by inflating it into an occult struggle for life or death registers as nasty rather than clever, with Jennifer's rampages shown in bloody detail.

The girls' weirdly variable relationship veers from exchanging pent-up insults to a passionate, prolonged lip-lock that seems to confirm earlier hints of a sexual connection. Needy and Chip go even further in an explicit underage encounter, complete with condom use, that the script makes clear is not their first.

The film contains frequent savage violence, cannibalism, strong sexual content, including graphic (presumably underage) sexual activity and lesbian kissing, a couple of profanities, irreverence and much rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

 Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Mary Magdalene: Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. 
<p>Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness. </p><p>Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the <i>New Catholic Commentary</i>, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the <i>Jerome Biblical Commentary,</i> agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.” </p><p>Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus does not save us as individuals, but as members of His Body. We are not just people—unconnected and isolated arms and legs. We are a people—in fact, the People of God.

 
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