April 17, 2017
The Boy Next Door.
Review #924: The Boy Next Door.
Jennifer Lopez (Claire Peterson), Ryan Guzman (Noah Sandborn), Ian Nelson (Kevin Peterson), John Corbett (Garrett Peterson), Kristin Chenoweth (Vicky Lansing), Lexi Atkins (Allie Callahan), and Hill Harper (Principal Edward Warren) Directed by Rob Cohen (#043 - The Fast and the Furious)
Simply put, this is the equivalent of a Lifetime movie, with the "saucy" details turned slightly up, with the range of cheesy acting intact. This isn't an awful movie, but it isn't a movie worth caring too much about. There are things to laugh about (Guzman, looking at least five years older than the 19 year old he is supposed to be playing), but it isn't exactly a "so bad its good" kind of film, because it is simply just a dull flick. As a thriller, it doesn't have much in terms of excitement, and it definitely doesn't have any sort of passion present in any of these characters. Lopez is probably the best actor in the film, merely because she has the most presence (Corbett comes second, at least for me anyway), though she can't save the movie from being a dry sponge. Guzman isn't much of a villain, nor much of any kind of presence. Apparently, the original screenplay by Barbara Curry was about a neighborhood boy making conflict between a family. Naturally, this was change, where the age of the boy next door being changed along with her being separated from her husband. I do wonder if the dialogue was as bland in that screenplay as it is on screen, where atmosphere and any sense of engaging in anything that these characters say and do is completely washed out. One easy low-light is Guzman's character giving Lopez's character a first edition of The Iliad. I can't tell which part is sillier, the idea that this would seem convincing, the cleanliness of the "book", or this "bond" that they share for the book. The climax (in which it is three versus one) is just as bland, in part because there is no real sense of energy. In any case, this is clearly not a movie made for me, but it is also does not seem to be a movie for people looking for something beyond their Lifetime products. If you want to waste 90 minutes, this is probably a bit high on the list, but even schlocky sci-fi films (#755 - Starcrash, for example) work better than this.
Overall, I give it 4 out of 10 stars.