It’s a damn shame that this film couldn’t figure out what it wanted to be.
Immediately following Juno, Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman began producing and trying to make this film. Cody wanted to make a film that was very much about female empowerment and female best friends, and I think that Karyn Kusama was a great choice.
She’d later make the very intense The Invitation, but years after this. And with that film, she is very aware of the tone of what she wants to accomplish in it, but it seems that due to Cody’s funny and “quirky” script that attempts to balance both horror and comedy, she can’t commit to a tone.
There are moments in this film that work expertly, and some moments that try and combine both genres that also work, but there just as many that take you out of the film.
Megan Fox is doing great work as Jennifer who has her own insecurities even if she tries to act as if she doesn’t, and Amanda’s work is who we truly get attached to as we follow her ups and downs in school and life. The film has a very Ginger Snaps feel as both are about female friendship, and changes in your life (read: puberty mostly). This one has her literally crave the taste of boy flesh, except for Jennifer who goes both ways.
I applaud Kusama intensely for making a film so unapolegtic as this, one that also reminds me way too much like Juno walked into a horror film, and that’s mostly because at this time Diablo Cody was making seemingly only witty scripts with a focus on the dialogue. It felt as if some of these lines were found on the cutting room floor of Juno.
The music for this is incredible, but also, I’ve always been part of the “emo scene” so even when in Chip’s room, you see the music posters, I only could think of how I still have that same Motion City Soundtrack poster signed somewhere in my closet. Or that I’m actually hearing Cute Is What We Aim For in a film.
I’m super ready for her next film Destroyer (which plays at TIFF, I pray I get tickets to get in) and I loved Cody’s last script, Tully, I just felt like their collaboration was something that worked more on paper than in execution.