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Jennifer’s Body

The first time I watch Jennifer’s Body I am a budding adolescent huddled under my comforter during the first few months of the pandemic. Stale bedroom air presses into my lungs while crumbs brush against my unshaven legs. Over the next hour and forty minutes I am overcome by an unfamiliar zeal as I take in the bright outfits, hilarious dialogue, and mid-2000s emo soundtrack that plays while Jennifer Check and her best friend Needy unconvincingly pretend they aren’t in love with each other. The twentieth time I watch the movie is on 35mm at The Roxy in New York during my first summer on my own. I linger at the entrance and smile when I realize I can’t spot a single man. In fact, I am surrounded by women who definitely had a crush on Megan Fox when they were 14. And in the velvet enclosure of the theater, we are teenagers again. The salt and butter of fresh popcorn mingles in the still air. We are suspended in a collective coming of age. We are filled to the brim with the kind of zeal you experience when you are finally seen.

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