Horror is not necessarily my bag, but on Friday night, I actually suggested renting Jennifer’s Body. The Blockbuster kiosks they installed in various Duane Reades throughout the city offer somewhat limited options but amazing convenience and value, making my suggestion to rent the horromedy (comrror?) all the more understandable.
As we were assembling ourselves, getting set with dessert and other preparations, the DVD cycled through its previews and then set itself on the menu. I was getting scared as the menacing music looped over and over with a picture of the preternaturally stunning Megan Fox in a hoodie and jeans, revealing a sliver of her flat belly, stared back at us. I muted the television.
As the film started, I couldn’t help it, I seized up. It’s my usual response to the genre. I found myself holding four fingers up on front of my face to obstruct my view of some violent scenes. I tried to laugh, look at SP, or chatter through the most intensely suspenseful moments. But as soon as I reminded myself to breathe and moved around the apartment a little, thus unclenching hands from upholstered furniture, I started listening to Diablo Cody’s writing. It was the whole reason I even considered renting the movie in the first place. Near the end when Megan Fox – Jennifer Check – got mad and levitated out of the pool, Needy – Amanda Seyfreid, who became more attractive [spoiler alert] when she earned a little of Jennifer’s evil after being scathed in their climactic scuffle – said “She’s just levitating.” Jennifer responded, “Why do you have to minimize everything I do?” It’s funny.
It was good for me, and I think for the film, that the writing sort of superseded almost everything else about the movie. It was more prominent than everything except, maybe, Megan Fox’s incredible hotness (even in a bloody white down jacket and red ripped tights, a t-shirt and jeans. When confronted by Needy’s assumption “I thought you only kill boys,” Jennifer responded, “I go both ways.” Honestly, looking at a girl like that, I’d consider it too.
I can’t think of any other film I’ve seen recently where I have been able to so clearly identify the writer. I knew Jennifer’s Body was written by Diablo Cody, and I guess that’s the point I am trying to make. It’s nice to see a screenwriter with such a distinctive voice. And a woman, at that. (Forget about her early exploits as a stripper by which to find fodder for the blog that launched her career. My feelings on that are divided. I feel admiration for her courage in going such an extreme route, hurling herself headlong into an entirely different world. But, I guess I also don’t necessarily like the idea that she might have glamorized the whole stripper thing, or the “I’m doing this so that I have something to write about on my blog” thing.) Anyway, I think Diablo Cody is a great writer. She made it so that I could watch a horror movie and almost chalk it up to research on female writers in film.
Today in The Happiness Project, I read about Gretchen Rubin’s resolution to learn more about things that interest her. She didn’t know exactly what interested her. I can identify with that. She did something I thought seemed interesting. She kept an interest log, jotting down things that peak her interest as the day goes by. So perhaps I should try to do this a little bit. I would start that list with “female screenwriters.” Shrug – it’s something. And the list can be totally random. Rubin said she lost interest in her interest log after a while, which made me think that maybe it wasn’t worth trying. Or that it didn’t add significantly to her happiness enough to keep it going, so maybe it’s not worth doing. But I could try it.
With regard to my novel-writing goals, I have one more hour to put in today. So I better get on that.