“THE BOY NEXT DOOR” (Film Review)



No surprise here, Jennifer Lopez is still good to look at on the big screen. Glowing and gorgeous the actress brightens up the screen in most of her scenes. However, that’s all that’s good about The Boy Next Door.  There’s sloppy acting, off standard direction, choppy editing and a story so predictable I couldn’t wait till the credits rolled. Actually, being released in January during the roll-out of the Oscar Nominated movies gives the biggest clue that The Boy Next Door has no guts to be a contender. If you guys have a crush on Lopez or the over 17-year-young ladies want their fill of rippling abs, then you may want to duck into this empty headed claptrap, but you’ll be the only ones watching.

High School teacher Claire (Jennifer Lopez) and her husband Garrett (John Corbett) have separated over his affair with a young woman. Claire has failed at blind dating while Garrett has been absent and her only enjoyment in life is her 17 year-old son Kevin (Ian Nelson). Just when her best friend and vice principal Vicky (Kristin Chenoweth) sets up another blind date, Garrett surfaces after nine months just in time for Kevin’s birthday. He offers to take Kevin and her on a weekend fishing trip, but she refuses.

Jennifer Lopez as Claire in THE BOY NEXT DOOR

Jennifer Lopez as Claire in THE BOY NEXT DOOR

The next day while trying to get her car out of the garage the door won’t budge. Just as she’s about to give up Noah (Ryan Guzman), a 19 year-old, shows up to give her a hand. He moved in next door to help his uncle who’s about to enter treatment at a local hospital. The next evening while Garrett and Kevin are away she looks out her window and sees Noah undressing. So begins a tale of violence, rape, sex and nudity.

Clair (Lopez) hides from view as she watches Noah (Guzman)

Clair (Lopez) hides from view as she watches Noah (Guzman)

Now it’s not that the film is all bad, it does have its moments when it comes to camerawork centered on Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo certainly comes across very curvaceous on the screen and her sex scenes are not crude. Her acting does get sketchy at times however, it’s as if she’s reading lines instead of delivering them with any meaning. Unless that’s what director Rob Cohen wanted from her or was the connection not there between crew and artist? You be the judge on this one.

The young ladies (over 17 please as the film is rated R) should get a charge out of J.Lo’s co-actor Ryan Guzman, especially since he shows a lot of flesh and a pumped-up muscular bod. As for his acting however, Ryan could use a lot of help because in most of the movie he looks like he’s just going through the motions (or just needs a better acting coach). You can tell he’s a MMA warrior from the common damage that’s done to most fighters in the ring. His acting in the two Step-Up films may have given him screen time, but he needed passion and not dancing in The Boy Next Door.

Director Rob Cohen seems to be on a downward spiral with his last three films Stealth, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Alex Cross taking a nose dive. He can add The Boy Next Door to the list, because unless it catches on quickly with the teen crowd the movie box-office won’t be kind to him. His film is predictable, easily a cable TV prospect and totally unbelievable that his antagonist could get away with what he does to the school vice principal in her office.

The Boy Next Door has been rated R by the MPAA for violence, sexual content/nudity and language. You can add brutality to the list and the nudity/sex, although quick, is quite graphic.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Only go see it if you must. (D)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth, Lexi Atkins, Hill Harper, Jack Wallace, Adam Hicks.
Directed by: Directed by Rob Cohen
Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexual content/nudity and language
Running Time: 1 hr 31min
Release Date: January 23, 2015
Distributed by: Universal Pictures

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress