Since 2014, the Butt Film Festival offers to see or re-watch a selection of films that approach sexuality in a new, exhilarating or subtle way, in Parisian cinemas such as the Majestic Bastille (11th) or the Reflet Médicis (5th). During its last edition, in June 2023, we could rediscover the incendiary Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Stanley Kubrick or the feline Irma Vep (1996) by Olivier Assayas, but above all the strange, parodic, insolent, gory and trash Jennifer’s Body (2009), broadcast at the L’Archipel cinema (10th), in Paris… And realize its crazy modernity.
Megan Fox, flamboyant heroine of the film Jennifer’s Body
Before Jennifer’s BodyAmerican actress Megan Foxnow 37, was best seen as a sex symbol who played bimbos in action blockbusters such as Bad Boys 2 or the saga transformers. But the bloody horror comedy Jennifer’s Bodyproduced by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Æon Flux) and scripted by Diablo Cody (Juno), will take it to a completely different register. And the doll’s flesh will prove to be exploited in a much more subversive way…
This film released in 2009, which owes its name to a song by the flagship rock group of the 90s Hole (the formation of Courtney Love), is not trivial. Firstly because of its story, which flirts with the B or even Z series. It follows a high school student who lives in a small American town, Jennifer (Megan Fox), wonderfully embodying the archetype of the popular girl and whose fatal beauty panics all the boys who come across her. Except that one evening, things go wrong. During a concert given by a Satanist rock group (in the literal sense of the term) in a bar, the singer lures Jennifer into the net of the band, in search of a young virgin girl to offer to Satan in exchange for success . They then decide to sacrifice Jennifer by stabbing her in a forest. Except that the character played by Megan Fox, now become a succubus because she was not “pure”, is reborn from her ashes and takes revenge by eating men (literally). A cruel stratagem which allows her to remain beautiful, because if she does not feed on males, she takes on a sickly appearance. Megan Fox plays here a character at once monstrous, sexy and funny who is somewhere between the vampire, the zombie, the witch and the Hungarian countess Élisabeth Báthory, who, according to legend, would have killed young women to bathe in their blood and thus preserve their youth.
The trailer for Jennifer’s Body (2009) with Megan Fox
Jennifer’s Body, a cult film that announces the #MeToo movement
On paper, the pitch of Jennifer’s Body ready to smile, but it is much more symbolic than it seems. It is also because of its hidden meanings, in addition to the magnetic beauty of the two heroines, Megan Fox And Amanda Seyfried, and its Y2K-gothic aesthetic, that it will become cult. As journalist Constance Grady writes in the media Voxin 2018, the film, born from a double female gauze, has a strong feminist impact, because it prefigures the #MeToo movement. We see a group of men hungry for power and money shamelessly sacrificing a girl with a dream body, who for them represents only a pawn on the chessboard. Except that Jennifer will subvert her carnal power to take revenge on men, subsequently, using her charms which until now had been exploited by them. Jennifer’s Body is all the more powerful since its main actress was the victim of slut-shaming in Hollywood, and that his uninhibited looks on the red carpet helped lock him into roles as a foil to the male hero.
In 2009, Megan Fox struck a major blow by denouncing, in the Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a hypersexualized scene that he was made to film during his adolescence. She explained in fact that in Bad Boys II (2003), director Michael Bay asked her to dance sensually in a bikini and high heels when she was only 15 years old. The actress also confided in 2020, on Instagram: “I’ve had some really harrowing experiences in an industry with ruthless misogyny. There are many names that deserve to be exposed in today’s culture (…), but they are stored safely in the fragmented recesses of my heart.”
Megan Fox, bisexual actress to star in queer film
In addition to its feminist significance, Jennifer’s Body is also considered a camp and queer classic, the two heroines being embroiled in a plot with carnal overtones. In an interview given to New York Post in 2021, Megan Foxwho has displayed his bisexuality in interviews since the 2000s, was delighted with his role with the LGBT community: “I can’t tell you how many girls, whether they’re 30-year-olds or teenagers – and my age – come up to me and say: “I realized I was gay because of you” or “I felt comfortable coming out because of you, because of Jennifer’s Body and interviews you gave revealing you were bisexual before it was considered cool.” She added that if her goal on Earth was to help even one girl come out of the closet and feel good about herself, she would be very proud of it.
Jennifer’s Body (2009) by Karyn Kusama, with Megan Fox, available on DVD. Expendables 4 (Expend4bles) (2023) Scott Waughwith Megan Fox, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, currently in cinemas. Pretty Boys Are Poisonous (2023) by Megan Fox, available on November 7, from Gallery Books.