The Boy Next Door

This is not a good movie. If you want to see a good movie, go to any other movie and there’s a chance it might be good. There’s not a hope in heaven of this one being decent but if you’ve simply come to worship at the altar of Jennifer Lopez, buy your ticket and prepare to feast your eyes.

Ms. Lopez plays a high school teacher with a teenage son and a cheating ex-husband. So right Jennifer+Lopez+Set+Boy+Next+Door+6L6ErgtYJHAloff the bat, you don’t buy it. There’s no school board in the world who’d think it a good idea to let her smoulder in spike heels and a clingy pencil skirt in front of hormonal teenage boys on a daily basis. She inspires lust with every bat of her long lashes and apparently routinely wears sexy lingerie under her clothes, yet her husband’s going to wander? Okay, yeah, it happens. Men cheat for all kinds of stupid reasons. It’s just a weird casting decision to go with an iconic sex goddess as the scorned, middle-aged wife.  And it’s nearly as baffling to cast John Corbett as the philandering husband since he’s basically America’s puppy dog. He exudes charm and loyalty and together-foreverness.

So, their marriage is on the rocks. They’re living separately but not quite at the letting-go stage, which is a fine time for a hunky, strapping young man to move in next door (Ryan Guzman). The camera pays close-up attention to his slick muscles to the exclusion of unimportant details like his face. This guy is just a body for hire. A body, meet The Body.

But guess what! Affairs be complicated, especially the May-December ones. Except it’s Jennifer Lopez, and this guy is the same age as most of the guys she dates in real life. But let’s face it, if you were a high schooler who got to bag J-Lo, wouldn’t you do everything you could to keep it going? At least long enough to invite her to prom, right?

Boy-Next-Door-Movie-Sex-SceneSupposedly this film turns into a “thriller” but there aren’t a lot of thrills. But did the screenwriter maybe pick up a big box of clichés for a dime a piece at a garage sale? Yes, those are abundant. In fact, I think she may have just cut up a lot of second-tier scripts, and pasted them back together haphazardly to make something the writers’ room at Days of Our Lives wouldn’t see fit to air. Every time someone opens their mouth, gouda falls out. Oh who am I kidding? It’s more like spray cheez and Guzman just about drenches us with it during his so-called seduction scene. The dialogue is so cheesy I wished I could have just turned the volume off. Because let’s face it. Jenny from the block is down to her black lace panties and we didn’t come here for the talking. Unfortunately, Lopez is trying to turn us on by mewling. I’m certain that in real life she has sex like the bombshell she is, but her “acting” sounds more like a little girl sneezing than a grown woman coming.

The best part about this movie is that I saw it during a weekday matinée in South Keys, just about the only cinema in Ottawa showing daytime movies anymore. Such a shame, because you’ve never seen such a diverse group of characters than those pointed at the screen. A the-boy-next-doorwoman seated a few rows behind me tsk’ed the whole way through. You know that clucking sound old women make when they’re disapproving? It’s usually a series of tsks – this particular woman did 5 in a row, and did them at everything. She seemed to be more disapproving  of reckless driving than murder so I don’t know what her deal was or why she felt the need to CONSTANTLY share it with the theatre (probably 3-4 dozen times during a 90 minute movie) but boy do I love non-verbal editorializing from strangers. Love! Almost as much as I loved hearing from the woman sitting two seats away from me, who came in late and respected the buffer my coat draped across an empty seat implied but just talked louder to compensate. During a scene involving a very large epi pen I cringed and looked away. She practically fell out of her seat to comfort me. “It’s okay, it’s okay,” she said, arms flapping, no thought to anyone trying to actually watch the movie. “I’ve seen it before” she says “and it turns out okay.” Colour me relieved. Wait- what? You know how bad this movie is and you paid to see it again? Exactly how many times has she seen this? Enough that she now has a rapport with Lopez – she yells to her “It’s your own fault!” and when this fails to elicit a response she turns to me and yells “It’s her own fault!” and when this also fails to elicit a response (other than my shrinking down further in my seat) she turns back to the screen and tries again “It’s your own fault!” Oh that Jennifer Lopez. She never learns.

2 thoughts on “The Boy Next Door

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s