Sep 18 2009

Megan Fox: Why Are You So Popular?!?!

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This might sound like an unusual question, being that the question, and the accompanying image, answers itself. Not to mention, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, you know who Megan Fox is. She’s graced the covers of Maxim and FHM for the last few years, has received numerous titles along the lines of “Hottest Celebrity So-and-So” and, on occasion, appears in movies. Bottom line, Megan Fox lives up to her surname: she is a stone cold fox.

I suppose what baffles me the most is her insistence, and the insistence of others, that she is an actress. This confuses me because she has yet to act, or function as anything other than eye candy in her films. Granted, this is nothing new; modern-day pinup girls who masquerade as actresses are an all-too-common occurrence, and have been for a number of years. Women like Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, and anyone who has ever starred in a CW television series have called themselves actresses, yet their body of work consists mostly of magazine photographs of their body rather than actual films. And to be fair, men (or man-boys, to be accurate) like Zac Efron, Robert Pattinson and, again, any CW beefcake has done the same thing.

Megan Fox, on the other hand, has managed to attain a level of prominence that any of these celebrities have only dreamed of. Due to her involvement in the infamous, yet profitable Transformers movies and the ticking-time bomb that is Jennifer’s Body (opening today), she has gained an incredible amount of super-charged exposure. Although one could dismiss Fox’s popularity as a fad, not unlike the fame and success of Lindsay Lohan, Fox’s film career shows no signs of slowing down. Fox has two films slated for 2010 releases, one playing a tough-as-nails prostitute in Jonah Hex (alongside Josh Brolin), and a winged circus freak in Passion Play with Mickey Rourke.

Most actresses of this vein have their few films and fifteen minutes of fame before fizzling out into obscurity and tabloid ads, yet Megan Fox appears set to enjoy a lengthy, prosperous, undemanding career. The trouble is Megan Fox has yet to show us anything that resembles range or presence, or that she’s deserving of her newfound stardom. Granted, most movie stars aren’t known for their range and often play the same kinds of roles over and over again, yet give off some kind of presence. Hell, even Keanu Reeves posses a certain “je ne sais whoa” about him.

Take her performance in Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for example. Sure, no one pulls off a pair of booty shorts, knee-high boots, or blouse with a neckline that begins at her navel like Megan Fox, but what did she do for the film? All of her lines sounded flat and unrehearsed, and it’s not as if she was playing a demanding role; she was the hot girl next door. Aside from her slow motion running scenes, did she have much to do with the film itself? I went and saw both films to see robots in disguise shoot plasma beams at other robots in disguise. And for the record, when Bumblebee, the mute, CGI Transformer is more engaging and believable than it’s human co-stars, there is a serious problem. Even Jessica Alba’s performance in Sin City, though not nearly as engaging or solid as co-stars Mickey Rourke or Clive Owen, had depth, presence, and, as Jack Kerouac say, “it”.

The proof that Megan Fox has achieved a level of recognition and celebrity that sets her apart from her peers is Jennifer’s Body, which writer Diablo Cody (soon to out herself as a one trick pony, which was also the name of her stage act in the strip clubs of Minnesota) describes as being like Heathers with demons. Whether this proves to be true is almost irrelevant, since the marketing for the film is making Jennifer’s Body out to be some kind of monument to Megan Fox. This suggests that, whatever the intent of the film, this film will be cut to reflect what the studios wants out of the film, and the audience that it will attract won’t go to enjoy any kind of satire or black humor, or Megan Fox’s developing body of work, just Megan or Jennifer’s body itself (separating the actress from the character with this film almost seems useless, I won’t even attempt it).

What bothers me most about this film is that it does not even attempt to be a film with a story or a narrative; it’s far too self-aware and self-conscious of its star. The film claims to be about the quintessential hot girl at a high school who becomes possessed by a demon and begins eating members of the student body. The movie is actually about how hot Megan Fox is, so hot that we’ll get to see her in panties, covered in blood, and kissing her underrated, more talented co-star Amanda Seyfried. I hope to God it’s not in that order. Whereas we live in an age were more and more movies, namely blockbusters, are more concerned with big booms and boobs and less worried about story, Jennifer’s Body seems to be taking the next step in not caring about narrative, story, or even cinema. Maybe the filmmakers are trying to be postmodern making a film that’s more of an ode the reigning empress of T and A, but they’re doing it badly and without irony or skill.

Considering her contribution to film, Megan Fox is, to her credit, honest about her function in Hollywood. She has admitted “One day I could be a good actress. But so far, I haven’t done anything”. Further more, she also once said “Hollywood is the most superficial thing you could possibly be part of, and if I weren’t attractive I wouldn’t be working at all”. Truer words have never been spoken, and I have to Ms. Fox credit; she is honest. Fox has always insisted that she is not just a pretty face, and that she does posses intelligence and talent beyond that of your average pin-up girl. Given some of what she has said, I would willing to give the benefit of the doubt, since Hollywood holds a women’s looks and figure in higher regard than her ability. And we all know that if you want to be a success in Hollywood, you have to play the game… to an extent anyway. I don’t doubt Fox’s intelligence, and maybe she has more to offer the big screen than a pair of breasts, but the truth of the matter is your body may grant you fame and adoration, but its your body of work that grants you respect. You say you have more to offer, Ms Fox; prove it. If you want to balance sex and skill like Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn or Kathleen Turner, show us you can act; we’re all aware that you can be sexy.

4 Responses to “Megan Fox: Why Are You So Popular?!?!”

  • Leo Says:

    Here Here! Absolutely spot on! I find that her range is from shock to happiness all within ONE take! Also have you seen her toe thumb?

  • jamesgoux Says:

    So normally I get a rebuttal space, and maybe I’m spoiled, but I’m used to getting to argue with any points I disagree with. So instead I’m going to do it here.

    My disagreement mainly centers around your comments on Jennifer’s Body. First of all, your comment on Diablo Cody being a one trick pony seems premature. Neither of us has seen Jennifer’s Body, but based on the premise and genre, it seems pretty different than Juno. Also, I’ve heard good things about The United States of Tara, and it also sounds pretty different from Juno. Sure, she has a style, but judging from her one film I’ve seen, I personally like it a lot.

    Which brings up Juno. You and Dylan have had a few oppurtunities to bash the film, and I want to be sure yours is not the only opinion on the movie that’s expressed on the site. Personally, I will admit to loving the film. It’s well directed by Jason Reitman, I actually really like the script despite a few annoyances with the teenage dialogue, and I love the acting from a lot of the performances, especially Ellen Page whom this role was essentially made for. I don’t want to do a full review of the film, but I wanted to be sure people knew that I liked it, and the distaste for it is not unanimous.

    Going back to Jennifer’s Body, I think you make a lot of unwarranted criticisms for having not seen it. Can you really back up that it “does not even attempt to be a film with a story or a narrative”? I also question the fact that “it’s far too self-aware and self-conscious of its star.” I think this may be the one place where casting Megan Fox was an intelligent move. This is not a role that requires acting chops, she’s essentially The Terminator, and while Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t a great actor, he was perfect for that role. Furthermore, this character is meant to be a commentary on how the popular girls go out and swallow all the boys in school and spit them out. What better person to represent the uncaring, horrible, popular people than Megan Fox?

    Maybe I’m just a sucker for post-modern fiction, but I’m hoping this film takes it’s opportunity to not only be a fun horror romp, but also an insightful allegory for the way high school dynamics work. My opinion of Diablo Cody seems to be very different than yours, so I see it as likely that she is at least attempting such a thing. Once again, I’m holding final judgment until I have seen the film myself.

    Now that said, let me just ensure the readers that on most points I agree with you about Megan Fox. The media interest in her is way out of proportion, and the only reason she is popular is because she is hot. She hasn’t shown us any talent, and hasn’t really been given the opportunity to either. Her involvement in a movie never increases my interest. But I do think that Jennifer’s Body is one of the few roles that is actually quite brilliant to use her in.

    And also, I do agree, I was quite charmed and impressed with Amanda Seyfried in what I’ve seen her in.

  • bennhadland Says:

    I have my own beefs with Diablo Cody, but something tells me that’s another article/podcast waiting to happen.

    James is right about one thing: I am making some pretty quick judgments about a film I haven’t seen. However, my opinions about “Jennifer’s Body” aren’t based on the films itself so much as they are by how its being marketed to the public. In several cases, you can tell a lot about how a film is going to be by it’s marketing campaign.

    Based on the trailers, the film goes like this: MEGAN FOX! MEGAN FOX! dialogue. TITS! DEMONS! dialo-MEGAN FOX OMG SHE’S SO HOT!

  • Laura Says:

    Is it at all wrong now…that after reading all of this, I really want to go see Jennifer’s Body… (for all the wrong reasons)

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