91 Min. | Thriller | February 2015
IMDB Rating: 4.3
Director: Rob Cohen
Staring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth
The Boy Next Door Review: In The Boy Next Door, Claire, a beautiful classic literature teacher at a local high school, is currently separated from her unfaithful husband. One day, a handsome strapping boy Noah, moves in next door, befriends Claire’s shy sickly son, does the manly work around her house. Seduction led vulnerable Claire into bed with Noah, which led to a guilty conscience. However, Noah simply would not accept no for an answer anymore. Ever since her return to the limelight via American Idol, Jennifer Lopez is still trying to convince all of us that she is still hot and sexy even past age 40. She does not really need to resort to in-your-face tactics to do it, but she does. Lately, she had that trashy “Booty” song and video, more revelatory deeply-plunging gowns at award shows, and now this vanity project which she herself produced. Jennifer Lopez is ever-glamorous in The Boy Next Door, with perfectly coiffed hair, impeccable make-up and stylish outfits all the time. She exudes “sexy” in all her scenes, even when she was just lounging around her living room posing on her divan, or slyly peeking out her upstairs window into the privacy of her neighbor’s bedroom.
Her anticipated bed scene was mostly moaning and teasing in the shadows, which will disappoint those came to see more of her. Her acting is not bad as you may think. She did what the script told her to do, as embarrassing as those lines and scenes were. As the 19-year old title character Noah, 27-year old Ryan Guzman was the ideal charming lover boy in the first half, and the unshakable nightmare in the second half, both personas played with obvious relish. The way The Boy Next Door closed the camera in on his biceps and torso and behind. To be fair, Guzman registers very well on the big screen, with charisma like Ryan Phillippe or Freddie Prinze, Jr. in their heyday. Let us see if he can get on with his career after this. Kristin Chenoweth does not sing here, but her character was a lot of fun of watch.
In The Boy Next Door, Silly and kooky, she does not exactly convince us that she was the assistant principal of her school. Her Vicky was an interesting side character. Too bad she did not get to do too much, or else The Boy Next Door would have ended earlier. She provides most of the comic relief of the film, the intended ones. Director Rob Cohen did not really have to worry about humor, his whole film was actually peppered with unintentionally (?) hilarious moments. The way Claire and Noah would finish each others sentences as they discussed Homer, the way Noah gifted Claire with a fresh-looking first edition of “The Iliad”, the list goes on. And top it all off, the film ends an over-the-top fiery, eye-popping Armageddon in an isolated barn. In the final verdict, The Boy Next Door was, in its own shallow way, entertaining. Watch it.