The Boy Next Door

Do yourself a favor – go see ‘The Boy Next Door’ movie: the one where the ever-youthful Jennifer Lopez is playing a teacher who becomes an object of obsession of a hunky and maniacal young neighbour. I promise: it’s ever more hilarious than ’50 shaded of Grey’.

Bad news: it’s not a musical (although there’s a Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth playing a vice principal and JLo’s songs would make a perfect soundtrack for this passionate story). It’s not even a porn flick (although the image of Jennifer Lopez who’s wearing glasses and sitting on a teacher’s desk can easily overshadow any typical ‘Sasha Grey’).

Good news: it’s a truly phenomenal movie. The one where each scene, a moan and a twist are filled with such surrealism that the creators of any run-of-the-mill ‘Scary Movie’ should start making notes ASAP. It’s even better than the quite similar ‘Obsessed’ thriller, where Beyoncé was fighting her husband’s lover while Beyoncé songs were playing in the background.

All you need to know about ‘The Boy Next Door’ is captured in the already infamous scene, where the young stud presents a first edition of ‘Iliad’ to his literature teacher from Bronx, saying that he ‘has got it on a garage sale for a dollar’. The first. Edition. Of. Iliad. Although it’s not entirely clear wheather these characters are quoting Homer from Ancient Greece or Homer Simpson. One thing for sure, they did learn their detective tricks from Scooby-Doo.

It’s always great when the most fascinating character in a thriller isn’t the actual psychopath but the curvy middle aged beauty, who’s dealing with her cheating husband (she now has to go on a date with a loathsome sexist, ew!) and raise her asthmatic son (‘My kid is bullied at the school where I also teach? Well, what can I possibly do?!’). Jennifer’s portrayal of Claire is even more pleasant than the jeweler’s attention of the camera to her world-renowned culo. She exclaims and sighs like a professional telenovela star and her countless ‘Oh, no!’ sound even better with the Russian dubbing.

This poor teacher can’t cut a cake, pull up a garage door, brake up with a cheating husband, resist a young seducer and eat a single cookie (in the movie’s most sensual and mysterious scenes she picks up a cookie, smells it and then puts it back on a plate – Homer could never! ).  But at least she can spy on her naked neighbor, brake into a stranger’s house and slowly but surely delete all the files from the MacBook’s bin; she needs about a minute to hide more than hundred photos in her class room and she likes to walk on the stripper heels in her underwear in a bedroom when she’s by herself. And she can also score a meeting with a detective without even saying why she’s so concerned about the case.

But she says a strict no to stripping: this momma got it all under control, as she has her name on the producers’ list. So ‘Step Up’ graduate Ryan Guzman had to do all the work, pulling down his boxers whenever the director said ‘Go!’ and patiently showcasing every bit of his muscles. He’s allowed to ‘play’ a true villain around the finale and we get a healthy mix of ‘Benny Hill’ and early 80s horror movies, where the heroes are running in circles in a tiny barn filled with weapons, so that at the very end (spoiler alert!) Jennifer Lopez could remember a lesson from ‘Loony Tunes’ and drop a weight on the psycho’s head (piano would definitely be a better choice).

All of that brings an enlightenment of such proportions that’s I’m willing to forgive the crew for not recording a sequel to JLo’s ‘Papi’ called ‘Mami’. And I’m gifting them an idea for a whole franchise: pop stars VS psychos (as the movie’s director has the first ‘Fast & Furious’ in his resume which evolved into a proper monster of a series). ‘The Boy Next Door 2’ can have Britney Spears as a gymnastics teacher who’s stalked by a villainous football player, Part 3 can see Lady Gaga as an arts teachers with a student who paints with blood and then Part 4 can be about Taylor Swift as a chemistry teacher who’s suffering from a crazy 12-year-old. The one that will give her the first edition of the Periodic table.

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Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema

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