“Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” said one young woman as she exited a screening of The Boy Next Door, the thriller starring Jennifer Lopez and directed by Rob Cohen.
I beg to differ. The movie was just as bad as I thought it was going to be.
After all, the trailer alone for The Boy Next Door was already getting laughs, and not for the right reasons, especially for the not-so-subtle phrase “I love your mom’s cookies.”
That unfortunate line was uttered by Noah (Ryan Guzman), a 19-year-old troubled teen who just moved into the residence next to Claire (Lopez). The high school AP classics teacher (I’m not making that up) has been struggling with a troubled marriage: Claire’s husband (John Corbett) cheated on her and has moved out of the house.
During one dark and stormy night (cliche intended), Claire sleeps with Noah. That momentary act of indiscretion seems to unleash the powerful crazy within Noah, who proceeds to hack emails and sabotage cars before gradually working himself up to gun violence and murder.
Suffice to say, the script defies both good taste and plain old logic. During one scene, Noah gives Claire a copy of the Greek epic poem The Iliad by Homer.
“Oh, a first edition!” Claire says.
A first edition? Did the author sign it? (The Iliad was written during the eighth century B.C.)
Why Lopez decided to do this inept, cliche-infested film is anyone’s guess. She may be an actress of limited range, but her work includes solid movies like Selena and Out of Sight.
Unfortunately, Lopez’s résumé now includes this stinker. And we’re all the dumber for it.
The Boy Next Door
Director: Rob Cohen
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, John Corbett
Rated: R (violence, sexual content, nudity, strong language)
Running time: 91 min.