'The Boy Next Door' Review: I Love Your Mother's Cookies
I’m sure it comes as a surprise to everyone, but the 75th iteration of Don’t Stick Your Dick in Crazy (Or Let it Stick its Dick in You) is just as bad as the previous 74 attempts. The Boy Next Door is a bad movie. It is an amateurish clone of a clone of a clone, with terrible acting, worse writing, and the most atrocious unintentionally hilarious seductive dialogue since Anakin told us about his sand fetish.
“I love your mother’s cookies” is an early contender for the year’s funniest line of dialogue, but is followed up by many other gorgeous gems delivered with the utmost seriousness and attempts at smoldering gazes.
The entire movie is in the trailer. Jennifer Lopez bangs the kid living next door. He turns out to be a psycho. And also really likes her cookies. There is not the slightest bit of originality at any point in the movie. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It isn’t even so bad it’s funny. It’s just embarrassingly bad.
I can only imagine that the film was released in theaters because it was actually too stupid and nonsensical even to air on Lifetime. It has the sort of basic ignorance of reality that would baffle most nine year olds. When a nineteen year-old student beats another student in front of half the school so badly that he fractures his skull, the result isn’t being taken to the principal’s office and suspended, it’s to call the police. When your brakes are cut and you’re going down a steep mountain road at eighty, running into the barrier doesn’t generally lead to no injuries and you driving home after. If only because the brakes were cut, so how would you drive home?
This review is sort of like coming full circle for me since the second review I ever wrote for this fine website was for Obsessed, the Fatal Attraction clone featuring Idris Elba as the cheater, Beyonce as the cheated, and Ali Larter as the cat-boiler. It’s weird going back and reading things one wrote years ago. The language is off, I wince constantly and want to rewrite about every other sentence, but in it I already wrote the review of The Boy Next Door, so I’d be remiss in my dedication to not wasting time duplicating work if I didn’t just cut and paste it wholesale, and editing the couple of words needed to make it work:
“Let me give you the short review first: you’ve seen this movie before. They’ve made this film at least once per year, for as long as I can remember, at least since Fatal Attraction back in 1987. Fatal Attraction is like the Die Hard of bad suspense movies. At least a third of action movies can be dismissed as: it’s just Die Hard on a boat, it’s just Die Hard at a hockey game, it’s just Die Hard at the junior Special Olympics. Well,
ObsessedThe Boy Next Door is just Fatal Attraction with a blackrich guywoman instead of a white rich guy. At least Die Hard On A [something] films have explosions to keep them interesting. The Fatal Attraction clones depend on suspense, which just does not exist in the thirtieth version of the exact same film. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know everything that happens in the film.”
That’s it. That’s the heart of the matter. There’s just such an exhausting laziness to this entire sub-genre that I am completely incapable of understanding. All these films are so similar to each other, with so little variation in any component, that they’re plagiarism for all practical purposes. The only sub-genre even remotely comparable is sports movies, with the whole underdog, training montage, winning the big game at the last moment template. But even that template has room for the writer to make it their own story. Not so here. Sex->cat boiling. If this sub-genre got anymore puritanical it’d have to wear a burqa over a chastity belt and live inside a bubble.
The only real question I have is why in the world Jennifer Lopez felt a need to make this movie. It’s her vehicle after all, and whether I’m her target audience or not she’s got all the money she’ll ever need from her music career and all the other lines of random crap like clothes and perfume and a boutique brand of organic ear soap for all I know. She had at least the start of a real acting career once upon a time, remember Out of Sight all those years ago now? So there shouldn’t be any of the blind excitement of a musician trying to move into acting and ending up with a shit role in a shit movie. The woman is worth $400 million. She really wants to act, she could start her own damn movie studio instead of slumming it in this Lifetime reject of a cliche.
Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here.