Critics Split By Gender On Jennifer’s Body

Published 4 years ago by

jennifers body toxic friendship Critics Split By Gender On Jennifers Body

So the Megan “hot Transformers chick” Fox-starring, Diablo “I wrote Juno” Cody-written movie Jennifer’s Body opened this weekend to rather weak box office (the estimate at the moment is less than $7 million). As I write this article the film is scoring 41% positive rating on the Tomatometer over at RottenTomatoes.com with 99 reviews so far. While that is certainly not a good score, it’s far from that of some recent stinkers (Final Destination: 27%, All About Steve: 6%, Sorority Row: 26%).

What prompted this article however was what I was seeing on Twitter as far as comments about the film… women seemed to be praising it while guys (myself included) were slamming it. So I decided to do an informal (and very crude) statistical analysis – overall what did male movie critics think about the film as opposed to female reviewers?

There were many more reviews by men (77) than women (26). The majority of these were culled from the Rotten Tomatoes site, and I included a few (from both sides) from reviewers I know who are not part of the R/T scoring system.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Male movie reviewers: 39% liked it, 61% disliked it.
  • Female movie reviewers: 54% liked it, 46% disliked it.

From the male side of the aisle, the negative comments about the film focus on the opinion that while Jennifer’s Body sets out to be both funny and scary, it succeeds at neither. However the film seems to speak more to female critics than to the man side of the aisle based on the focus upon girl/girl friendships, and particularly on showing just how cruel women can be to each other, never mind guys.

jennifers body review Critics Split By Gender On Jennifers Body

If you’re a guy, you’re probably thinking “huh?” right now, so here are a few statements from the women’s perspective expounding on just what the heck that means…

Genevieve Blaber (writer for LatinoReview.com and her own blog IWentThere) says:

“This movie deserves a lot of love… Unfortunately, with Jennifer’s Body I’m seeing (and hearing) many males write off the parts of the film they don’t understand and, as a consequence, the entire film. What they should be doing instead, is trying to understand it as a seldom given look at the inner workings of women and their relationships with each other.”

Annalee Newitz of io9.com had this to say about the movie:

“‘Jennifer’s Body’ is a movie about toxic friendships between women. By placing this story in the context of a monster movie, it also does something interesting. First, it acknowledges that women are horribly dangerous… More importantly, it acknowledges that women are dangerous to other women. Not just in a mean girls way, but in an ‘I will rip your lungs out’ way… This is a movie about female wrath. And it’s not the clean, sympathetic wrath we saw in ‘Thelma and Louise‘; it’s not the trampy blankness we wanked over in ‘Species.’ It’s ugly, wrong, powerful wrath. The kind that builds empires and destroys towns. And men are irrelevant to this wrath, in the same way Jennifer’s life was irrelevant to the guys in Low Shoulder who murdered her.”

And “EruditeChick” over at AllThingsFanGirl.com explains:

Case in point, the necklace moment. A trinket that holds no power other than what it represents to the girls, the act of its removal shocks Jennifer out of her attack, and undoes her. A BFF necklace. They probably got them at Claire’s. When they were ten. But in the world of the film, it is a mystical amulet, as powerful as the knife used in Jennifer’s murder or the words spoken over her before the act. Most of the men I’ve heard talk about the film mention that moment in particular as being cringe-worthy and corny, and most of all bizarre. I have not yet spoken to a girl for whom that scene did not resonate, didn’t hit something deep in them. Even if you never had one of those necklaces, you know what it means, the way you know what BFF can mean.

Now of course there were men who liked the film and women who disliked it, but there’s a definite overall slant depending on the chromosome make up of the reviewer. In retrospect, what the ladies above are saying makes sense – but I still think this could have been done far better and that a film could have been made which addresses these issues while appealing to both women AND men.

What do YOU think?

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40 Comments

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  1. I haven’t seen this movie, but the comments selected on this website from the females to explain the movie made my eyes roll back in my head and turned my eyelids into leaden weights. Apparently not only is female angst trite and boring, but the analysis of it on film it excrutiatingly boring. The praise for this movie condemns it.

  2. Well said James,,,
    ;-)

  3. LOL @ James…

  4. @ Ken J

    I completely agree with Ken J. I’m a 20 yr old woman and although the movie does deal with chick concepts and what not it was boring. I laughed occasionally so it wasn’t that funny, and I waited for some good downright action but it barely delivered. Ok ok, so they wanted to speak to the friend aspect of woman and peace and love or whatever, I get it, but Hello People its a MOVIE! If you say you’re scary; be scary. If you say you’re funny; be funny. If you say you got action; yep you guessed it HAVE ACTION.

    They should’ve just stamped “Love Film” or “Chick Flick” and call it a day.

  5. I’ve not yet seen the movie, but the review excerpt you included regarding the BFF necklace made me laugh out loud. Why not just have her yell ” By the power of friendship! ” and start the Carebear countdown? :P

  6. Hmm…Having just seen this film…I feel almost as if i have been tricked into watching just by the promise of
    seeing some sexy moments involving Megan fox + Amanda Fried, but instead ended up with a story that focuses on the * unnecessary* emotional tidbits of these ladyfriends

    I don’t know if it is because i was slightly drunk when i watched it but it didnt seem to make sense—-it seemed scattered as if pieces from different films had just been stitched together- I couldnt wrap my head around the last bit (um…by the way, why did megan die?)

    It seems theres so many undertones and subtexts going on it’s quite hard to follow, Like it follows the relationship of the *cough* BFF’s :/ even from very young ages…which are an odd choice of friends…then it yet brings in a hint of sexual desire betwixt them, and the climax moment (for me anyway :P) with the necklace reinforces their friendship- at the end amanda seems almost grateful that she is no longer the same needy/nerdy person she was before! as megan has been trying to tell her throughout..
    and then it seems that she continues friendship by killing the band man chappy

    To be quite honest with you..i could not be arsed to try and get all these little hints hidden below the main story

    The keywords in my head before i went in
    ‘megan fox’ ‘partially clothed’ ‘NAKED’ ‘DARK’ ‘FEARSOME’

    should have read
    ‘tease’ ‘CHICKFLICK disguised as a quick thrills shocker’
    ‘hinting towards feminism’ ‘confused.com’

    I felt pissed of as a man i had fallen for it. almost like men were not even supposed to see ‘the other side’ of the film ie…female bonding themes but just the tits and ass

    anyway i dont actually fully know what i am typing,,,i probly read it back and i think WHAT UTTER b*******

  7. Megan Fox is sooooo hoooottttt.

  8. I think that when feminists are split on something, a feminist outlet, … while it is true that gender fluidity exists with both the Girl !

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