#REVIEW: “THE BOY NEXT DOOR”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
There are a number of true and fast rules about the month of January.
1. Most of us are still in a state of shock as the credit card statements arrive with reminders of the over-spending done during the Holidays.
2. It’s the best time of the year to buy linens on sale
3. Major Hollywood studios are devoting all their resources behind films nominated for Academy Awards and release Movies that would never ever be Oscar bait!
There are a number of true and fast rules about Jennifer Lopez (henceforth referred to as “J.Lo”)
1. In 2001, she was the first Entertainer to have a Number One album and a Number One Movie in the same week
2. She is a successful Entrepreneur and a Fashion Icon, yet best known for a string of broken marriages and relationships
3. When she drops the J. Lo persona, she has proven a number of times that she really can act. Watch “Out of Sight”, “Selena”, “Blood and Wine” and “An Unfinished Life” for validation of this point.
Which brings us to THE BOY NEXT DOOR.
The first 15 minutes wonderfully establishes the Story and all the major Characters. We quickly learn that Claire (J. Lo) is separated from her Husband (John Corbett) much to the chagrin of her teenage Son Kevin (well played by Ian Nelson) as she relies on her supportive Best Friend (a sassy, spunky Kristin Chenoweth). When she meets hunky next-door Neighbour Noah (Ryan Guzman), seasoned fans of the Thriller genre have already seen all the signs: the way-too-big chef knife to use on a cake, Noah’s proficiency with mechanical things and electronics and his puppy dog stares at the smoky-eyed, dressed to kill Claire. After a plot contrivance that even Helen Keller could foresee, Claire and Noah have a sexy, steamy, ill-advised night of passion. Now, the fun begins and the movie energetically goes on a thrilling roller coaster ride.
I genuinely enjoyed THE BOY NEXT DOOR. Yes, it IS yet another “Fatal Attraction” clone but when one takes into account this Movie was made for a scant $4 million (which is probably the worth of what is in J.Lo’s wardrobe… MINIMUM), it’s a beautifully-shot and scored Movie. This movie delivers. On the positive side, it has enough nudity to make the 2 guys sitting behind me at the screening squeal with delight. It has enough gratuitous violence to make you squirm with discomfort. There are old fashioned Hollywood jump scenes, a wild, speeding car ride on the side of a mountain when the brakes fail and funny observations that Chenoweth delivers with aplomb. More importantly with the issue of diversity in Hollywood much at the forefront, it is great to see a Movie where the two Leads are Latino. That being said, there are too many scenes with J. Lo getting ready to go to sleep, flawlessly made up with mink false eyelashes, wearing slit up there nighties and a pair of shoes that Carrie Bradshaw would drool over. And in what universe can Ryan Guzman be described as the Boy Next Door? Definitely NOT in my Neighbourhood!
With so many heavy Movies out in the theatre now vying for Oscar attention, comes this tasty, popcorn fun. Universal Pictures Canada release THE BOY NEXT DOOR on Friday, January 23, 2015.