Saturday, June 20, 2015

REWIND REVIEW: The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door

Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman


January 23, 2015

Rob Cohen

Universal Pictures

1 hour 31 minutes



There are bad films, and there are films so horrendously awful that they're ridiculously entertaining; "The Boy Next Door" falls in the latter category.  Jennifer Lopez can be a decent actress, which she's proven before.  I use the term "can" lightly as her last acclaimed performance came nearly two decades ago.  In this film Lopez plays Claire Peterson, an English teacher whose favorite books include Homer's "Iliad."  This love for Homer actually has some relevance in the movie, hence the mention.  Unfortunately the only way we know she's an intelligent teacher other than a couple of scenes of exposition is the fact that she wears glasses during a couple of scenes, and as we all know wearing glasses automatically makes you smart.  Anyway, a hunky 20 year old named Noah, played by Ryan Guzman, moves in next door and plans to attend the school Claire teaches at.  Unsurprisingly, he's attracted to Claire, and after a couple of advances he (luckily) sleeps with her.  The next day, though, Claire regrets what she did, which causes Noah to become as cartoony of a villain as one could imagine.

From the horrible directing and the cliche-drenched script to some horrible performances and laughable moments, "The Boy Next Door" manages to get nearly everything about it wrong.  Yet from all of that comes an unintentionally hilarious film that is surprisingly a lot of fun to watch.  There are things the characters either say or do that are either so absurdly stupid, make no logical sense compared to everything else going on, or both.  As a thriller, this movie fails on all levels.  It isn't intense, creepy, or smart as films like "It Follows" was.  As a comedy, however, this is cinematic gold.  If you want to grab a few friends and watch/make fun of a horrible movie, then I absolutely recommend checking "The Boy Next Door" out.  If you're looking for a legitimately thrilling and intense movie that will creep you out and send chills down your spine, then go find another movie out there.  After all, how can a film that has the line "I love your mother's cookies" actually be taken seriously?

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