Monday, November 29, 2010

Jennifer's Body

Needy (Anita to the rest of us) and Jennifer are BFFs. They have their own cutesy little language, just like all of Diablo Cody's other characters. (They refer to each other as Monistat and Vagisil. Sweet.) Jennifer is the flag team captain, has a rockin' bod, and is the center of attention. Needy always plays second fiddle. The only thing Needy has that is completely her own is her boyfriend.

Jennifer drags Needy to a rock show at a local bar. The bar burns down. The band, Low Shoulder, wants to get in Jennifer's panties. So she hops in their van while Needy gets the hell out of there. Needy had overheard the band talking smack about Jennifer so she's sure they're bad news bears.

Needy is right. Low Shoulder made a deal with Satan because, hell, there are a lot of skinny jean wearin' indie bands trying to get a break. Virgin sacrifice seems like the fastest route to fame. The band has the mistaken idea that Jennifer is a virgin. Little known fact: When you perform a virgin sacrifice on someone that is not actually a virgin, you create a demon. Good to know, kids.

Jennifer freaks Needy the fuck out by showing back up at Needy's house that night. Immediately, she eats a roasted chicken in the fridge. Okay. Then, Jennifer proceeds to vomit black tarry shit. The things your best friend puts up with.

Whatever. Maybe Needy dreamed it. Until dudes start turning up dead, dismembered, and eaten. Two dudes in two months. Suspicious that Jennifer is pulling an Edward Cullen and being all non-sparkly and boring until just before one of these dudes gets eaten. Connection?

The night of the homecoming dance, Needy follows her boyfriend as he cuts through a park. Of course he comes upon Jennifer. As Needy catches up, she finds her boyfriend being eaten by Jennifer. Needy manages to chase Jennifer off. Still, though, the Boyfriend dies. Well, shit.

Needy shows up at Jennifer's house. There is an epic battle scene. Not really. Needy surprises Jennifer in bed and goes all Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Jennifer's ass. There's a little struggle, Needy gets bitten. Still, good triumphs over evil. Jennifer is dead. Needy gets thrown in a juvie psychiatric hospital.

The book ends with Needy getting herself thrown in solitary. She then levitates up and out the window and escapes. (All prisoners should be bitten by demon spirits. It really makes prison escape a cinch.) Needy gets picked up by a driver that is clearly ignoring her prison uniform in a prison area. Needy exchanges sex for a ride (Ooh, edgy. As Alice said, Another day, another blow job.) Needy's masterplan is to find the dudes of Low Shoulder and kill their Satan worshipping asses.

  • I'm ashamed to admit that I paid for this book. Granted, it was like two bucks. Still, though, that's more than I should have paid for this.
  • Yeah. It's supposed to be a horror spoof. I suspect that Diablo Cody only came up with that after the movie and book tanked. 
  • This is an instance that I can say with 100% confidence that I could have written a better book spoof. And not just because thirteen-year-old Alison's attempts at writing a book are of a comparable caliber.
  • Remember when this story was all controversial because of a lesbian scene? Yeah, where was that? Because I was all excited to see what had everybody's panties in a bunch and there was nothing. Not even a friendly hello kiss. The book also doesn't show Needy trading her goods for a ride. I'll admit it--I'm disappointed. The promise of controversial sex was the only thing that made me finish reading this book. And Diablo's screenplay-to-novel-adapter-author-person never delivered. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Princess Diaries

This is just your classic story of an average girl that finds out that she's a princess. Ho-hum, really. It happens every day. One day, she's a normal kid from Greenwich Village. The next day, her dad is taking her out for dinner and casually saying, "Hey, my illegitimate doll. Remember how I'm a politician in a nearly invisible European country? Replace 'politician' with 'crown prince.' Now that, as you like to bring up, I've been castrated because of my testicular cancer thus rendering me barren, you seem like an okay choice for the next monarch of Genovia. And I'm going to be irritated if you become emotional at this life-changing news. People really should take learning that they're a prince or princess with a little more grace."

Mia is at that awkward pubescent phase where she's tall and gangly and flat chested. And she never lets you forget it. Being physically awkward means she'll never be able to rule Genovia or have relationshps of any consequence. She even makes to-do lists about it and everything else going on in her life. They go a little something like this:

  1. Grow boobs. My entire self-worth is wrapped up in my bra. Must fill it immediately.
  2. Stop failing algebra. Even though my second X-chromosome is carrying the fail-algebra gene. Whatevs.
  3. Become the monarch of a small country. Now that my dad is sterile, I'm suddenly good enough to be revealed to the Genovian people and trusted to govern all twelve of the citizens.
  4. Join Greenpeace. I'm a vegetarian and animal rights activist. My support of Greenpeace is considerably less controversial than if I were to support PETA. It's still has enough of a dirty hippie stench, though, to infuriate my fur coat lovin' Grandmere.
  5. Be irritated with my mom, a stereotypical artist--flaky, irresponsible, and having unprotected sex with my algebra teacher.
  6. Achieve self-actualization.
Clearly, this girl deserves the Judy Blume Award for Awkward Puberty. I'm sure Tina Fey would agree.

Becoming a princess isn't all unicorns and rainbows, though. Mia has to take princess lessons with her Grandmere. Awesome, right? She has to know about influential women and how to handle the paparazzi and which fork to use when. It's all very stressful. Especially when you're trying to pass algebra.

Because this is a princess story, Mia has to be gorgeous. So Grandmere pulls a She's All That on Mia. There was a literary montage. Mia's frizzy hair was de-frizzed. It destroys everything that Mia is--awkward and gawky.

Mia's hairdresser leaks her princess status to the media. All hell breaks loose. Lilly drops Mia as friend. Because, y'know, the founders of Genovia really should have taken Lilly's feelings about monarchies into account. The entire school goes crazy for Mia. Suddenly, she's popular. Lana and Josh Richter, the most popular couple in school, are talking to her!

Shortly thereafter, Josh Richter breaks up with Lana. To only turn around and ask Mia out! This couldn't possibly go wrong, right? They are supposed to go to the Cultural Diversity Dance the very next night! Grandmere pulls some strings and Mia gets a rockin' Chanel dress for the event. (I felt pretty baller rockin' Betsey Johnson at prom. Mia just fashion shamed me. And in the ninth grade! For the Cultural Diversity Dance!) Josh takes Mia to Tavern on the Green for a shit-ton of champagne. I do refuse to believe that the servers were oblivious to the fact that they were serving fifteen to seventeen-year-old kids! On their way to the Cultural Diversity Dance! Josh and Mia never actually dance at the Cultural Diversity Dance. Instead, she ditches his drunk ass. As she should.

The story ties up. Mia is adjusting to being a princess. Michael Moscovitz has a very obvious crush on her. They even danced at the Cultural Diversity Ball. Lilly decides to stop being an asshole and try being a supportive friend for once.
  • Meg Cabot really knew where to hit when she wrote about a normal gawky and awkward pubescent girl who finds out that she's a princess. That's just about every little girl's dream.
  • I remember this book being much funnier the first time I read it. Maybe because I was eleven and being the hilarious princess of a small country was my back-up plan in case my Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail. (The letter was lost. I'm still waiting to find out which country I'm going to be in charge of.)
    • There are a lot of things about Meg Cabot's writing style that are fun and charming. But as soon as you start working your way through all her work it's like, 'Oh. Another to-do list with things that won't actually be done for several years. This irritates my practical nature as I take to-do lists very seriously and only realistic goals should be included on a daily to-do list. Loftier ambitions should be moved to a long-term to-do list.'
  • Boyfriend's cat is named Mia Thermopolis. He claims that his sister named her. I doubt this story.
  • I hate the Pygmalion approach to life. Girls, no one will like you and you'll be completely unsuccessful unless you partake in a dramatic make-over montage. You'll sacrifice vision in the name of losing those dorky glasses and your hair will be chemically treated within an inch of its life. Only then, will someone find you attractive and interesting. Thanks for the self-esteem boost, Mia!
  • Disney made two notable changes to the story line. They killed off Mia's dad, and they moved Mia from Manhattan to San Francisco. Disney writers seem to get off on killing off kids' parents. I understand that a kid is more likely to understand Mia's-dad-is-dead-and-thus-there-will-be-no-other-heir than Mia's-dad-has-testicular-cancer-and-thus-there-will-be-no-more-heirs. Disney got to avoid a whole awkward sex talk and appeal to younger audiences. But still. Isn't surviving cancer a lot better than dying?
  • I don't understand the relationship between Lilly and Mia. Mia gets absolutely nothing from it. From what I've gathered, Lilly is critical and enjoys feeling superior to Mia. She also plays into the obnoxious stereotype that kids of psychiatrists are qualified to psychoanalyze their friends. I won't even go into how irritated I am that Lilly makes Mia feel guilty for not having reached self-actualization. Neither has Lilly! It will take them years to achieve self-actualization, if ever! Relax!
  • It's the Cultural Diversity Dance! We just had homecoming, winterfest, and prom. None of that Cultural Diversity crap for us. Such an incredibly specific dance!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

True Dat.

How did I not see this before?
And how come John Green wants me to love him so much?
'Cause really, John. You can stop trying. I already love you.