Note from the Editor: This is not a review as much as it’s an MST3K style recap. All the spoilers and commentary cracking wise. I suppose if you actually want to watch this and be surprised do not read this, however we can’t really see why you’d want to. We might be more encouraging of other people watching this is Ryan Guzman would stop wearing so much clothing. Bottoms up.
The Paperback Purist and I got together for a movie night, and decided to rent The Boy Next Door. We went into this one blind, only knowing that it stars J Lo, and the title makes it sound like Catnip City. Little did we know, this is not just a drama about a hot Cougar and her gorgeous young neighbor, it’s actually a THRILLER.
The movie opens with J Lo jogging, and she is really looking great for an older mom of twins. Voice over flash backs tell us that she is separated from her husband and has a teenage boy. Cut to J Lo hanging out in the kitchen at her best friend Vicky’s house (Kristin Chenoweth). J Lo mentions that her husband is talking about getting back together and she’s considering it. Vicky reminds her about what a giant dog her husband is, because he slept with his secretary and told her that the skank smells like chocolate chip cookies and J Lo is like, “You don’t UNDERSTAND, he’s the father of my child!” That’s a little shitty to say to your unmarried/childless best friend who looks to be in her 40’s and might be sensitive about missing out on those life experiences, just saying.
Later, J Lo is having dinner at home with her ex, John Corbett, and their son, Kevin. Corbett wants them to all go on a family camping trip, but J Lo isn’t having it because she can’t get over his betrayal. She awkwardly bows out and suggests they make it a father-son trip, and Kevin gives his dad a sympathetic look. He just wants his family back together, you guys.
The next day, J Lo and Kevin are rushing out for Kevin’s important appointment with the city’s best allergist, but they don’t really explain what he’s allergic to. Whatever it is, it’s bad enough that he wears an EpiPen on his belt. J Lo is wearing a strapless maxi dress, and she looks better than any person has any right to look in a strapless maxi dress. Seriously, maxi dresses look bad on almost everyone. Their garage door gets stuck, and while J Lo is trying to lift it up, hot neighbor Noah shows up in a white t-shirt with rolled sleeves, and is all “Let me get that for you with my sexy, bulging arms.” He takes a look at the broken automatic opener, and says he can fix it, it just needs a new flux capacitor or some shit. Old guy neighbor/uncle informs JLo that he’s the only family the kid has after his parents died in a tragic car accident.
Noah and Kevin head down to the hardware store, and Noah tells Kevin that he’s almost twenty. That makes him the perfect age for an acceptable forbidden affair. Legal, but barely. They pick up the parts they need, and Kevin gets all flustered because the girl working at the counter is Allie, the hottest girl in school. Noah wing-mans for him, and then some bullies come in and harass Kevin, calling him The Wiz. Poor nerdy Kevin.
Noah fixes J Lo’s garage door (really, not a euphemism), and then mentions the bullying. She explains that a few years ago, Kevin was stung by a bee and had a severe allergic reaction, and peed his pants. Now the kids at school call him The Wiz, and I know that’s not supposed to be funny, but man, that’s pretty clever for some bullies. Pretty soon, Noah is coming over all the time, hanging with Kevin, staying for dinner. He is really into classic books, and J Lo is a high school English teacher, so there’s some boring flirty banter about how cool and sexy books are. Noah even brings her a first edition copy of The Iliad, and LOL x 1,000,000. Yes, I’m sure you found a copy of a 3,000 year old book at a garage sale, for a buck. The cover looks like the kind of book you buy at Urban Outfitters and use to stage houses, all deep green and shiny gold.
The weekend that Kevin goes on his camping trip with his dad, Vicky talks J Lo into going on a blind double date with her. While she’s getting ready, she spies on the naked hot neighbor through the window, and he catches her checking out his (fantastic) ass. J Lo’s date turns out to be a bit of a prick and says something disparaging about teaching kids literature, so J Lo storms out. When she gets home, she starts in on a bottle of wine, and morosely smells some chocolate chip cookies. Because that’s what her husband’s mistress smells like. SAD. When Noah calls and asks for help defrosting a chicken (again, not a euphemism), she heads over and they share a romantic dinner. Noah tells her that she is the sexiest woman he’s ever seen, and then starts kissing her. Finally. There has been way too much plot in this movie, we came for an illicit love affair, you guys. Noah is pretty smooth, but J Lo protests, because “it’s wrong.”
Reasons why I don’t have a problem with this even though I’m a mother of two boys and should probably care:
1. Look at this picture of Ryan Guzman in sweatpants!
2. I don’t think he goes to her school (YET)?
3. He’s “almost 20.” Adult enough for our standards (This made me LOL so hard. Because no actual adult I know refers to themselves as almost anything. He’s 19. Just man up and say so. -PP)
4. He’s much taller than her.
5. J Lo might actually be old, but she looks like she could be in her early 30’s and he looks way older! At least 25…
Poor lonely J Lo eventually gives in to the gorgeous boy who is going down on her while she’s still leaning against the wall. As anyone would, amiright? YOLO. There’s lots of delicious bun squeezing, and then J Lo wraps her legs around him and he carries her to the bedroom. His room is on the second floor, but this is a movie and we’re pretending, so they leave all the stairs out of it. Things look to be pretty satisfying for all parties involved, but J Lo wakes up in the morning with some belated second thoughts, and tries to find her clothes and rush out of there. But Noah made her breakfast! And put it on a tray! His feelings are clearly hurt, and at this point we’re thinking J Lo is a dummy. At least drink the kid’s coffee and let him down gently! He punches a wall (our first clue that he might be unbalanced), and she tends to his bloody knuckles – but sticks to her guns and tells him it was a mistake and won’t happen again.
But uh oh! Noah is about to go crazy. He gets into her high school class by emailing the administrator from her computer and making it look like she requested him. He starts creepily following her home from school. And showing up when her husband is there, making loaded comments like, “It was really wet here this weekend.” “I love your mom’s cookies.” Also, he’s dressed fantastic for a high school student: At this point PP and I started googling the movie and realized it’s a thriller. BOO. I thought we were going to get a drama about a slightly inappropriate love affair! Noah basically insinuates himself into their family, hanging out with Kevin, showing up for dinner. Kevin is boxing with Noah and has some kind of allergic reaction, I’m not really sure what happened because we weren’t paying complete attention – this was where my husband distracted us when he walked in and was all “Who is that?” “Umm, it’s JLo…” *Deep sigh* – Noah runs (very sexily) to get Kevin’s EpiPen, and there’s a brief moment where he looks confused about where to stab Kevin with the giant needle, but he must hear us screaming LEG!!!! because he gets it in the right spot and saves the day (he almost stuck him in the heart just like Travolta sticks Uma in Pulp Fiction. Calm down, kid. It’s not an overdose). I’m not sure what the point of this scene was other than to show us how fragile Kevin is. Unless Noah caused it and we just didn’t notice – which is entirely possible because by this point, Noah is full on crazy stalker.
J Lo confronts Noah in the school gym and tells him she wants to start over with a clean slate. She’s an idiot and way too moral. That night, she has dinner with her ex, and when they get back to her place, he’s drunk and asks to crash on the couch (even though he drove her home literally 2 minutes earlier). Noah sees his car in front of the house and starts having sexy red tinted psychotic flashbacks of getting it on with our girl.
He confronts her in the morning on the way to school and calls her a fucking whore; says “game on.” He is creepy as hell. She tells her son Kevin to stay away from Noah. He’s acts all teen and is like, “He said you would do this mom!” At school, Kevin is harassed by the bullies again, but Noah flies in out of nowhere and pretty much kills him.
VP Vicky reveals they don’t have his transcripts. He was kicked out for disorderly behavior. He calls her a pathetic old woman. “Dried up dirty fucking cunt” “You’re expelled!” But I don’t think it works that way? Can you just expel someone in the heat of the moment, or don’t you need to file paperwork and get another adult to weigh in?
Later, at the spring fling J Lo’s chaperoning (poor Kevin has to go to a dance with his mom as a chaperone. School must be so hard for this kid because you know everyone gives him crap for how hot his mom is), she has to go to the bathroom because the water is overflowing out of the boy’s room, and she finds the wall spray painted with “I FUCKED CLAIRE PETERSON.” Noah shows up and tries to dry hump rape her, but she knees him in the balls, and tells him to fuck off.
So Noah goes home and fucks Kevin’s crush, the hardware store girl, in his room with loud music on and the windows open and all the lights on. Very deliberate. Poor asthmatic/allergic Kevin.
She shows up to school the following Monday and her classroom is covered with streamers made of photos of them boning. Here comes the principal! In a panic, she locks both her students and the principal out and tries desperately to hide the evidence. There are hundreds of copies. And they continue to cascade off the printer while she’s tearing them down. She’s stuffing them behind her desk, while the principal is trying to key in. She manages to get all the copies shoved under her desk just in the nick of time, and is all casual, “I had a personal call.” No worries, brah.
Shitty dad (John Corbett) shows up after school and gives his teenage son the keys to the purple Dodge Challenger. They have a little father/son chat that we both kinda zoned out of. We were way more concerned with the twisty road home that everyone in CA has to take to get anywhere apparently. Then the brakes go out. ON DEVIL’S CURVE. Good thing they crashed on the part where the giant water buckets were! Obviously, creepy neighbor sabotaged the brakes.
When J Lo gets home, she finds the dented car, and Noah is there. She is pissed because he video taped them. J Lo has the best skirt ever, that would only look good on a perfect ass. He tells her to come over later to get the video. She shows up after dark and loses her shit. “What do you think? We’re going to date? We’re going to go on family vacations?” Noah completely loses it, and she finally starts to see that she clearly fucked the wrong “almost 20-year-old.” The video is proof of their love! A promise for a better life! None of the proof will see the light of day, IF, she lets him show her what’s possible. She hits him with a door.
J Lo doesn’t know what to do anymore. She shows Vicky the torrid photo of them, and she is literally the best friend ever, because she completely disregards the fact that she’s a high school official and J Lo’s boss and legally required to take some kind of action on this. She’s all, “Obviously we can tell he’s a psychopath from this photo. No one will see this video. Ever.”
They set up a plan to lure stalker Noah away from the house so J Lo can sneak in and get the video. Vicky drives JLo’s car as a distraction and J Lo knifes into his house through the screen door. Noah is doing his normal “follow J Lo home from school” routine, but then he figures it out and Vicky is like GTFO OF THERE!!!
So JLo finds the camera, and a bunch of other hidden cameras. Follows them downs to the basement to the stalker shrine with a mattress that probably smells like cum and a room covered in giant pictures of her. There are pictures of her sleeping all over. It’s just like in Fall with Me. On his computer she finds the video of her, and pictures of her sleeping. She deletes the whole folder. He’s a very organized stalker, because she also finds a folder labeled “Dodge Challenger” on his desk top containing all these files that are like “Brakes.” hahahahahahha Also: “2006 Minivan”
JLo does some amateur detectiving on “the Sandborne case,” the crash that killed Noah’s parents. The police assumed the dad was drunk because he had a history of drunk driving. They didn’t do any tests or anything, they just assumed, you know? The brakes went out? Nahhh. Also – the crumpled up/burned out shell of a minivan is just sitting there in the police garage. The keep things like that around in the garage, I guess. One more question, is it a 2006 minivan? “Yes. Is there anything else I need to know?” the cop asks. NOWHYWOULDTHEREBE?!
Meanwhile, Noah has Vicky gagged and tied up. J Lo calls Vicky’s cell, which Noah picks up, and before he says anything, J Lo blurts out the whole story – that she knows Noah killed his parents. Somehow he conveniently has a recording of Vicky all ready to go that says “come over,” so JLo does, obv. It takes awhile though, because it’s fully dark when she shows up and she has to use her cell phone flashlight. The house seems deserted, and she doesn’t bother calling the cops. (“Or leaving.” – my husband who had decided to join us)
A cat bursts out of nowhere and gives a horror movie yowl, scaring the shit out of J Lo, who then stumbles upon Dead Vicky. Super dead. She runs to the car and calls 911, but Noah gets her out of the car before she gives them info. “Why did you kill your parents?” “I would never hurt my mother. My cheating father, and his whore, got what they deserved. Let’s go in this barn.” Where John Corbett is hung from a ladder, and Kevin is tied up. When and how did Kevin get there? Wasn’t he just eating a chip sandwich?
“Kevin, slow your breathing!” She gets out his EpiPen, like it’s an inhaler. I don’t understand if he’s allergic or asthmatic, or if they’re just acting like they’re interchangeable. She hits Noah in the face with a cat’s-paw pry-bar. Obviously, he gets up immediately and drags her around. Fight scene. John Corbett really needs to escape and prove to his wife that he loves her!
Noah starts spilling gasoline everywhere. “Time to make a choice. Live with me or die with them!” JLo’s poor decision-making leads to a struggle and her knocking a LIT ZIPPO out of Noah’s hands, which immediately sets the spilled gas ablaze. Luckily, it remains very contained in the horse stalls so the fighting can continue for a while. John Corbett escapes, tries to be a hero and gets shot. JLo is distraught for him. Meanwhile her kid is about to burn to death. I don’t know why they don’t both go to their kid. At this point, we are both yelling at the TV to save the fragile, allergy-ridden kid. Who gives a fuck about their cheating husband when their kid is there???
Finally, J Lo stabs Noah in the eye with the EpiPen in the movie’s most shockingly graphic shot. He shoots his gun all over but doesn’t hit anything because he can’t see. She sticks her finger in his eyeball. Super close up. Somehow Kevin has escaped and saves the day. Then JLo pulls a chain and drops an engine on him. He’s dead. They rescue John Corbett and they’re a family again. Then it ends.
Seriously. Just ends. They load Corbett into an ambulance and the barn continues to burn in the background and then the credits. Meh.