Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection, but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
The Boy Next Door is a film about making mistakes and having to deal with the consequences of those mistakes. I like to think of this film as bordering on a Lifetime flick. It’s got that intense but predictable storyline with the predictable ending. That’s not a bad thing though because it’s mindless entertainment to be honest and who doesn’t occasionally love some mindless entertainment especially when a hot guy is involved? With that being said, let’s get into this installment of A-Z Movie Reviews.
What it’s about:
A newly single mom winds up in an intense affair with her teenage son’s friend, a bad idea that gets worse when things turn violent.
See what I’m saying? The Boy Next Door has a predictable storyline. What drew me to this movie was Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman. Jennifer Lopez has always been one of my favorite entertainers, so it was a no-brainer for me to watch this movie. The bigger draw of course was Ryan Guzman. I know he was in Step up Revolution and Pretty Little Liars but, for me, Ryan was a newcomer. I had never watched him in any of these other projects. When I saw him in the trailer for The Boy Next Door, I was sold.
I realize The Boy Next Door deals with a taboo subject of a teacher hooking up with a teenager so I get that this movie would not necessarily be everyone’s cup of tea. Let me just point out that Ryan Guzman’s character Noah is 19 going on 20.
Yes, I know that’s still a teenager, but I just wanted to get that out before I continue. Like I said, I know this film deals with a taboo subject but, it came out during the prime time. The Boy Next Door was released one month before Fifty Shades of Grey which was another film dealing with a taboo subject. Universal Pictures who produced both of these films, definitely knew how to pick their target audience with these releases.
Universal Pictures knew people would be looking for something to hold them over until February and it’s no coincidence that both films released on the 13th of the month. The Boy Next Door released January 13, 2015 and Fifty Shades of Grey released February 13, 2015. I honestly think Universal did this to tease the audience waiting for Fifty Shades.
I like to think of it as them giving us an appetizer before the big meal. I admit when I saw the trailer for The Boy Next Door, I said exactly that. I was waiting impatiently I might add for Fifty Shades of Grey’s release and when The Boy Next Door came around, I was like sign me up. That is not to say I would ever hook up with a teenager, okay? So do not get any ideas. Films that are taboo are a big draw for audiences because we get to watch other people do things onscreen, we ourselves would never do. We also get to judge them and have lots of conversations afterwards.
The Boy Next Door is entertaining and that’s about it. It’s not one of the best movies I have ever seen and the acting at times gets a little on the silly side. I think Ryan Guzman did a good job playing a psycho but, in some scenes, it was hard to take him seriously. Jennifer Lopez as Claire had her moments too and I definitely could not get into Kristin Chenoweth who played her friend Vicky. If I’m being honest, she got on my nerves.
I won’t knock the chemistry between Ryan and Jennifer though because they were good together onscreen, and their love scene still makes me blush. There are also some moments in The Boy Next Door that border on horror particularly the final sequence in Vicky’s farmhouse. Until I re-watched it, I had completely forgotten it was a Blumhouse film.
If you’re familiar with the Blumhouse production company then you know they are known for doing a lot of scary films. It should have been no surprise to me that they would add some horror elements in. Seriously, Blumhouse did what Lifetime movies attempt to do in their final scenes but don’t really sell because they still have to keep it safe for TV. If you are looking for a film that’s like a Lifetime film without the cheesy acting that is often part of them, I recommend checking out The Boy Next Door.
- Fun Fact: Jennifer Lopez provided her own wardrobe for Claire’s costumes.
- I may have gotten a little excited when Noah said he was from San Bernardino. I live in San Bernardino county and not many movies or TV shows have characters from here.
- Claire’s son Kevin (Ian Nelson) is such a sweetheart.
- Jason Zimmer (Adam Hicks) is a jerk.
- Noah loves literature and I loved that about him. Too bad he’s cray cray.
- Noah giving Claire a first edition copy of The Iliad was very Christian Grey giving Anastasia a first edition of Tess of the D’Urbervilles in Fifty Shades of Grey. Just saying.
- Claire, if you thought the relationship between you and Noah was inappropriate, you shouldn’t have been spying on him through the window, not once but twice.
- Claire’s blind date was a jackass.
- There is something so fitting about Claire wearing a darker dress when she hooks up with Noah. It feels representative of the taboo act she’s committing by sleeping with a teenager.
- Claire, you didn’t try THAT hard to stop yourself or Noah from the two of you sleeping together.
- “I love your mother’s cookies.”
- I didn’t realize until now how many cookie references there were in this movie.
- “I’m not following you Claire, I live next door.”
- Okay, the faculty at Monroe high has a nice ass lounge.
- When Claire calls her ex-husband Garrett (John Corbett), you can still see the home screen on her cell phone.
- Why do films with obsessive guys, always have a shot of them crazily working out? Do they just assume every guy works out when they get angry?
- I don’t condone violence at all but Jason Zimmer should have known at some point someone was going to beat him up.
- The error in continuity when Noah is in Vicky’s office after beating up Jason, always bothers me. Watch and see if you catch it too.
- Allie is a self-centered bitch who did not deserve a guy like Kevin. Point blank period.
- Not one single boy saw the words “I fucked Claire Peterson” on the wall inside the boy’s bathroom?
- Still think it is completely unrealistic that Claire would have been able to pick up all those pictures in her classroom that fast with her students outside. There were a lot of pictures in there. Also, her trashcans were not big enough to fit all that without one of her students seeing.
- Kevin and Garret’s car accident scene always stresses me out.
- Why the hell would Kevin be so naïve to believe that Noah was at Vicky’s farmhouse helping her when she had just expelled him for beating Jason up?