Rob Cohen, a veteran of action thrillers like “Miami Vice” and the street racing cultural phenomena “The Fast and Furious”, has attempted an erotic thriller that most certainly has a plot that is of a taboo nature. The Boy Next Door is an enticing theatrical concept for younger adults who are curious about infidelities among individuals of varying age.
The Leading Lady
Jennifer Lopez plays the leading lady, Claire Peterson, who is a teacher at a high school in San Fernando Valley. She has had a recent breakup with her husband Garret, played by john Corbett. However, with her most attractive presentation in perfect makeup and great dresses, one would find it hard to believe she is a high school teacher
Claire is helplessly lost within herself, trying to raise her confused teenage son on her own. This is where her attention comes towards Noah, played by Ryan Guzman, who has the pretty face and the “built like a truck” body every woman desires.
As a transfer student, he moves in next door to Claire’s rescue. Noah is a great help to Claire, aiding her from time to time. He helps with her ill uncle while making a comfortable transition into their lives. He interacts with Claire, aiding her in her time of need by fixing her garage door and car. He shows up for dinner and even befriends her son, encouraging him to talk to the prettiest girl in the neighborhood.
Kevin leaves for a long weekend allowing Claire and Noah to have a few passionate encounters, giving Claire relief from all her life problems. Little does she know that Noah would turn into a obsessed stalker, signing up for her classes, coming into her home unwelcome and creating a situation for Claire where she does not know if she is safe. He also happens to be an expert at Muay Thai and has the skills to hack into her computer.
Noah’s mental state is not really defined in the movie, nor what drives him to become obsessed with Claire. However, the scary side of this movie imbeds the idea of not indulging in every desire as one might endanger you.
The script by first-timer Barbara Curry and does not provide Guzman with much of a character base. However, for mere $4 million project, the final cut is a decent watch.
Photo credit: The Boy Next Door film