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Jennifer's Body


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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