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Rainy Day Review of : Jawbreaker
Jawbreaker: Movie Poster
Jawbreaker starts out as any other regular teen angst movie. You've got your popular girls and you've got your nerdy girl who wants to be apart of them, but Jawbreaker gives a bit of a twist on this classic layout. Within the first 10 minutes of the film you understand why they call it "Jawbreaker".
After the opening credits we see a young teenage girl being bound and gagged by 3 unknown assailants, and the gag? Well it was a jawbreaker of course. I don't know about you but when I was a kid jawbreakers weren't typically bigger than the size of a nickle, so when I initially watched this film, I wasn't expecting the jawbreaker to be the size of a baseball nor was I expecting anybody to think it would be okay to gag another with it.
The strongest theme that reins throughout this movie is it's heavy symbolism. After the opening credits each scene is just awash in symbolism and unless you're good at picking up on that kinda thing, you may not enjoy this movie as much. I understand the reason for this type of symbolism is to give an emphasis about each character but the movie isn't suppose to be taken in a serious tone, just as the music and classification infers, it is a comedy. Though not a classic "haha" kind of comedy, this movie puts a kind of demented twist on what comedy is supposed to mean, and in this day and age, it is pretty refreshing to see.
Our Characters Define Themselves Sooner Rather Than Later
As soon as the opening credits finish the girls show what their medal is made of when they're faced with a decision to do the right thing or cover their tracks. Julie comes forward as the honest type with a need to do what's right as soon as something goes wrong. Marcie depicts herself as an emotional mess looking for a path to follow or a stronger person to make the next decision for her rather than make her own decisions and come to a conclusion and or solution that she wants. Courtney fesses up as the take charge, hide the body kind of girl who doesn't care about what it takes to get herself off the hook for the mistake she made. She then proceeds to take control of the other two and manipulates them into going with her plan. Within this scene we start to see what defines each of them.
When the girls show up to school we see them strut down the hall dressed in the 3 classic colors of the rainbow: Red - Courtney, Blue - Julie, and Green - Marcie. Our symbolism starts here with their clothes and makeup as this scene after they arrive at the school is what shows their outer evil even more strongly. Courtney is dressed in red to show how much of a manipulative demon she really is. Julie's blue and more innocent apparel shows how much of a sweet and more kind soul she is but we soon see she's being tormented by that kind and good natured soul of hers. Marcie, dressed in green, is more of a neutral color as in a neutral party, she follows the strongest of the pack which in turn ends up being our Demoness, Courtney. Marcie's hair, makeup, and clothes all indicate that she isn't intending to be "sexy" but she's also not not trying to be, she's more in between than the other two because she doesn't define herself.
Once the girls leave the bathroom we are given more symbolism based on the classes they're in. Julie is patiently waiting in her literature class where the topic of Shakespeare and death and "What has been done, can not be undone" is the one theme resounding within the room. Julie's face depicts her inner kind and righteous nature are being picked at slowly by the bad deed that her life is now enveloped in. Her pretending she hasn't done anything wrong, is obviously biting and eating away at her kind nature and is slowly pressing her into a pit of madness and depression.
Next we see Courtney sitting, bored, in her sex ed class, ignoring anything of the reality that she's creating and refusing to acknowledge anything that has to do with her friends. She seems completely uninterested in life and uninterested in anything other than her own self. This shows how much Courtney really cares for her friends and for what she's done.
Lastly we have Marcie in her Home Ec class, as they're cracking eggs, Marcie's egg pours into her bowl, filling it with blood. This symbolism of course represents that death isn't something she can avoid and that she will have to face what she and her friends have done at some point rather than ignoring it and going about her day.
Each girls character is clearly portrayed within the first 20 minutes of this movie and you begin to figure out how each of them is going to handle this situation. As the movie progresses however there's less of this defining decision making done and more of the covering up being shown. It's important to cover your tracks but Courtney takes it a little too far.
Though this movie is labeled a comedy I didn't find myself laughing much but rather enjoying the twisted sense of humor that it did offer. The soundtrack pushed you to believe this movie was not meant to be taken seriously and the different sound effects that popped up aided in convincing you it was really not meant to be taken seriously. Though I enjoyed the music thoroughly and thought that each track was carefully picked and timed to the situation beautifully, it may have been the best part of this movie, especially since it was what kept me coming back to the story line anytime I may have strayed.
The important plot points were well received as the music change tended to signal a significant scene in the movie. Anytime my attention would turn away the music would easily bring my focus back as if I needed to watch the next scene to figure out what would happen next. Those with a good deductive reasoning set of skills should easily be able to piece this movie together, maybe even just from the movie trailer, but it has a couple twists and turns you may not be expecting.
What's a 90's movie without a classic makeover? The main girls attempts to keep things under wraps puts the "nerdy" girl in a position to join them and become popular. Once Fern has been accepted into the group you can kind of infer that she's about to take over the original leader. Isn't that how it always goes down?
Some points in this film are predictable and others were a surprise but anything major could basically be pieced together with little to no effort. I can see why this movie has such a low rating on Rotten Tomatoes as it offers nothing much to the imagination and any person who likes 80's or 90's movies can figure it out on their own. Still I would recommend this cinematic piece if you're particularly in the mood for a semi bad movie or just want to try and guess what's going to happen next.
Though the plot was interesting and well thought out, I think it could have been better implemented rather than trying to make this a comedy, it may have been better with a more serious undertone. Don't get me wrong, I loved the movie and I absolutely adored the choice of actors. Actually the actors did a terrific job at portraying who their characters were meant to be, it's just the pushing to lighten the mood of the film with attempting a comedy undertone is what put me off.
If you like watching semi bad movies on rainy days or if you just have about an hour and a half to burn I would recommend you watch Jawbreaker as It puts a twist on the classic 90's ugly Betty makeover movies. It's refreshing plot line and amazing actors make this movie enjoyable and you may even get a couple laughs out of it here and there. It is a comedy after all.
If You're Interested, Here's the Trailer
How Many Stars Did We Give It?
I give this movie a 3.7 out of 5
- The actors did a spectacular job and portrayed emotion significantly well.
- Plot was interesting and unique.
- I found it interesting and not a waste of time to watch during my rainy day.
- There couldn't have been a more satisfying conclusion.