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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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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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