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Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest

Why the Hate for Megan Fox (and Diablo Cody)?

Why all the hate for Megan Fox?  Where does it come from?

With the arrival of the inane and mediocre Jennifer’s Body in theaters, I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of vitriol spewed about the film’s star Megan Fox as well as the film’s screenwriter Diablo Cody.  I have no problem if folks can be civil and discuss their reasons why Fox and Cody are not necessarily the best in their fields – I’m certainly not a fan of either – but I can’t really fathom the reasons why some people feel that these two women are blights on humanity.

Perhaps they’re overexposed, but people are rarely overexposed to the entire public, merely overexposed to people who insist on watching their every appearance.

I certainly have actors or filmmakers whose movies are not necessarily first on my “want-to-see” list, but I’m never actively hoping for them or their movies to fail; in fact, as someone who loves cinema, I’m hoping for Oscar-worthy performances and films every time out.  So it’s really beyond me how people can root for a movie to be bad just to help back-up their feelings.

Regarding Megan Fox specifically, I am definitely no fan of the films she’s been in or the performances she’s given in those films nor do I think she’s any more or less aesthetically impressive than most working actresses (maybe Linda Hunt).  My feelings about her are based entirely on the performances she’s given in the four films she’s been in and if she happens to give a daring turn in a great movie, I will have no qualms about giving her credit for it.  But when I glance at her IMDb page and I see a subject on the message board that says, “Good for nothing b!tch,” I have to wonder how people can let themselves get so worked up about her or any other famous person.

It seems unbelievably simple to me: if you don’t like someone, then don’t watch their movies or their television appearances promoting their films. Sure, you might see them on the cover of salacious magazines while you’re buying your groceries and in that sense, it can feel like you’re seeing certain celebrities everywhere; but, while not everyone is attracted to Megan Fox, I can certainly think of faces I’d less like to see as I’m waiting on the checkout line.  She’s certainly no more overexposed than our own president.

I think the anonymity of the internet makes it easier for people to openly vent their hate for someone like Megan Fox.  I’m definitely not one of those fuddy-duddies who believes that the internet is the cause of all the world’s problems; I just think the internet is a great place for those problems to multiply or worsen.  You might know a few different people who dislikeMegan Fox, but now they can all band together on the internet message boards. To say you “mildly dislike” someone just doesn’t seem all that controversial on the internet so people turn to hatred or say truly putrid things that I wouldn’t care to repeat, and that they likely never would say to that person if they were face to face with them.

I think the other aspect of the hatred comes from feelings of inadequacy and jealousy.  Certainly, this is the case with Diablo Cody.  I didn’t like Juno or Jennifer’s Body, I’m not a fan of her writing style because I find the dialogue way too affected and the storylines in both of her films to be a bit trite.  Do I hate her?  Jesus Christ, no way, I don’t even know her!  Am I jealous of the success she’s having?  You betcha.

But I think a lot of people who fume about Diablo Cody’s success somehow think that she’s stealing a spot away from them; that, in some way, because Diablo Cody is a working writer that it must mean there is one less writing position open in Hollywood.  Well guess what?  She’s not taking your spot because that’s not the way it works, this isn’t a giant Wal-Mart where they hire screenwriters based on positions they need to fill.  Diablo Cody created that job for herself by writing a script that people wanted to make into a film.  Dislike the films she’s made all you want – I certainly do – but don’t hate the woman just because she was savvy enough to make it.

But the issue at hand is that when Jennifer’s Body opened below expectations at the box office, some people were cheering as if a righteous thing was done and it proved that Megan Fox can’t open a film and that Diablo Cody was a one-hit wonder, blah blah blah.  Well you know what I think?  The flop of Jennifer’s Body is a terrible thing for Hollywood. Yes, I know, it was a mediocre film and now the studios will stop making mediocre films for all-time, right?

Well, here’s the thing: the two terrible people that you hate so much are going to keep working. Megan Fox will be in the next Transformers film and she will continue to make films after that.  Diablo Cody announced just recently that she’ll be adapting the Sweet Valley High books into films, so I don’t think she’s really out of work.  The only people that are going to suffer are the people who really wanted to see more films made by women and for women.

This was a film with two female leads, a female screenwriter and a female director.  Like it or not, there should definitely be more films made where this is the case. Karyn Kusama is certainly as talented as the average male filmmaker, yet she will most likely find it harder to get her next film financed after this film’s failure and that’s a shame. I don’t necessarily think she’s the next Kubrick, but she’s certainly got ability behind the camera and I think her filmGirlfight is still pretty damn good.

But more than that, this was an attempt to make a genre (horror) appealing to women that don’t necessarily have genre films made for them.  Rather, the “womens’” film has become its own genre and it is usually a romantic comedy where women work glamorous jobs and dress in designer clothes.  So any attempt to broaden the appeal of another genre or to have a horror film that is focused almost entirely on young women is something that I can admire.  And when the film flopped, as much as I didn’t care for it, all the hatred in the world for the star or the screenwriter would not make me feel good about what it portends for the future.

– Noah Forrest
September 28, 2009
Noah Forrest is a 26-year-old aspiring writer/filmmaker in New York City.

The opinions expressed in these columns are the writers and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions of Movie City News or any of its editors or other contributors.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon