Granger on Movies: 'The Boy Next Door'
Published 6:52 pm, Sunday, February 8, 2015
Lonely Claire has been separated from her philandering husband Garrett (John Corbett) for almost a year, raising her asthmatic teenage son Kevin (Ian Nelson) in the San Fernando Valley. Her best friend/high school vice principal, Vicky (Kristen Chenoweth), is urging her to move on.
That's when charming Noah moves in -- for an ill-advised one-night stand, which Claire immediately regrets the next morning.
But psychotic Noah's not about to abandon Claire, whom he describes as "a woman to be cherished." So he becomes her obsessive stalker, adding the threat of blackmail.
So when Noah corners impressionable Kevin, saying, "I love your mother's cookies," unintended laughter inevitably erupts at the inappropriate double-entendre.
Simplistically scripted by former Los Angeles prosecutor Barbara Curry, it's ineptly directed by Rob Cohen ("The Fast and Furious," "DragonHeart") as a micro-budgeted, gender-reversal "Fatal Attraction." But none of the pulpy melodrama is even remotely believable.
Not only is Noah a skilled handyman -- fixing her car and garage door -- but he's also a computer hacker and kickboxer, when he's not quoting from Homer's "The Iliad," all to impress this English lit teacher.
While 27 year-old Ryan Guzman ("Step Up: All In") certainly doesn't look 19, "American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez, now 45, has never looked lovelier -- or more seductive.
Problem is, neither of them can act convincingly.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Boy Next Door" is an asinine 2. Improbably overheated, it's a new low for J. Lo, evoking ludicrous memories of "Gigli."