The Boy Next Door (2015)

I want you to know, dear reader, that I spent a lot of time thinking about what rating to give this film, possibly more than I thought about the film itself. On the one hand, it’s not exactly a great thriller with memorable dialogue or convincing acting, but on the other hand, Jennifer Lopez is one of cinema’s great underrated actors and it’s all hokily enjoyable fun after a fashion. Think a gender-swapped version of Fatal Attraction and you’ll be most of the way there. The setting is blandly suburban, and Ryan Guzman does the best he can with his two-note role (nice guy to homicidal stalker guy), but there’s a believable emotional arc lurking beneath director Rob Cohen’s surface sheen, in which Lopez’s literature teacher Claire is having marital troubles with her philandering husband Garrett (John Corbett) and unwisely hooks up with new neighbour Noah. In a sense, you could see the film’s second act as the externalisation of her own internal quandaries, especially given that Noah is so much younger than her, but it all gets rather ridiculous and violent in the denouement. That said, it’s probably not too early to say this is the best film about a classics teacher we’ll see this year, and Noah’s “first edition of the Iliad” line will surely be remembered as the film’s most notable contribution to the field.

The Boy Next Door film posterCREDITS
Director Rob Cohen; Writer Barbara Curry; Cinematographer Dave McFarland; Starring Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, John Corbett; Length 90 minutes.
Seen at Cineworld Wood Green, London, Friday 13 March 2015.

One thought on “The Boy Next Door (2015)

  1. It’s over-the-top and silly, but it sometimes know it is and for that reason alone, it’s worth seeing and having a wonderful time with. Nice review Ewan.


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