Snickering from the audience during an erotic thriller is not a good sign. It is not the reaction that you are looking for if, like director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, The Skulls) and star Jennifer Lopez, you are trying to either maintain or resurrect your film career. Thankfully for J-Lo she has her music and the gig as a judge on American Idol to fall back on as for Rob Cohen he should be worried. Though after watching this schlock I began to wonder if Miss Lopez really should be judging anything as she cannot seem to select good films to star in.
The Boy Next Door has so many faults that it is hard to decide where to start. From the script that seems like it was written by someone who has no real understanding of human behaviour (Hello, Barbara Curry, maybe you should stick to your career as a lawyer) to the completely hammy acting and is topped off by a premise that is so ridiculous that it is laughable it is one misstep after another. Maybe Lopez, Cohen and Curry should have tried for a B movie comedy?
The idea is that Lopez’s character Claire Peterson is a recently divorced high school English teacher. Her teenage son, Kevin (played by Ian Nelson), is having a hard time dealing with the break-up of his parents and seems to be taking it out on his mother, who he lives with, despite the fact that it was his father who was unfaithful to her. Claire is thrilled when Kevin seems to have made a new friend in the boy next door, Noah Sanborn (played by Ryan Guzman). The teenager Noah begins to flirt with Claire and they get closer and closer until one evening she allows him to seduce her. Coming to her senses shortly after the glow has worn off, Claire wants to end things but Noah is not going to be easily shirked off to the side.
Jennifer Lopez has never been a strong actress but with good casting and a strong director she could muddle her way through. Neither is happening here so her less than stellar acting talent is left exposed and basically she is hung out to dry by this dog.
The only way you could possibly have fun at this homeless man’s version of Fatal Attraction is if you manage to find the humour in it and laugh your way through. With a plot so thin and dialogue so bad you might find it tickling your funny bone.