Lopez’s ‘Boy’ an unimaginatively hackneyed plunge into paranoid pablum

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

J-Lo: I hate being called a cougar.

But J-Lo complained to Ellen DeGeneres on her chat show: ” I hate that they would have like a label for a woman that would date a younger guy. One of these days, when I get around to writing my upcoming academic tome A History of Romantic Comedy Told Entirely Through Movie-Star Hair, “The Boy Next Door” will likely figure in it.Jennifer Lopez rocked five different outerwear styles over the course of 24 hours in New York, where she’s been busy promoting “Boy Next Door,” her new romantic thriller.Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez is not a fan of the term “cougar,” which is applied to older women on the prowl for younger men, and insists she isn’t one.

For a visit to the “Wendy Williams Show” on Tuesday, Lopez wore a robe-style black coat tied at the waist with a black fur scarf and ankle-strap stilettos. In a plot taken from half of the movies made for the Lifetime or Hallmark cable channels, high school English teacher and part-time voyeur Claire Peterson (Lopez) is dealing with a pending divorce. Awkward enough, but – spoiler alert! (oh, who are we kidding, it’s all in the trailer) – it turns out her new love interest is still in high school. After that, the modern-day diva changed into a cream Dior coat with fur trim on the collar and sleeves while heading to the “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” studio in Midtown. The “Booty” singer sat down with Us Weekly’s Brody Brown recently to discuss her new movie The Boy Next Door and her current relationship status.

When the twins made their worldwide debut in the publication’s March 11, 2008 issue, Lopez was the sole parent to appear on the cover; Anthony, her husband at the time, was shown inside the magazine. And as of now, she tells Us she has no “announcements to make” when it comes to her dating life. “I’m single right now,” Lopez told Us after discussing her new flick. “I think being on my own has been really great for me. Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The story takes a “Fear”/”Fatal Attraction” turn when the guy, Noah (Ryan Guzman), becomes obsessed with Claire, threatening her career, her family and her life.

All Claire knows how to do is sit around in skirts slit up to her thigh, drink wine and wonder what ever possessed her to sleep with a boy young enough to be her student. But what’s the name for an older guy who’s after younger girls? “I’m not after younger guys; if younger guys like me, that’s one thing, but guys who just go after younger women – they have no label!

And Claire is, quite possibly, the most clueless! (Direct quote, from person behind me at screening, as Claire bravely descends into Noah’s scary basement: “Seriously? Barbara Curry’s script starts out like a cable movie, but near the end turns into a cheesy horror film presented with cheap special effects and absurd action moments. The star is also the executive producer, and at every step of the way the script (directed by Rob Cohen of “Alex Cross” and “The Fast and the Furious”) takes pains to offer up mitigating factors for why a vaguely Mary Kay Letourneau-ish situation is actually totally understandable and forgivable: Our villain explains during a heart-to-heart with new best bud Kevin (Claire’s teenage son, played by Ian Nelson) that he plans to start school in the fall. “College?” Kevin wonders. I live next door.” And Lopez’s hair, gloriously silky and perfectly arranged even when she’s in crisis, is a wonder to behold; apparently Claire, who goes on errands wearing strapless dresses and looking curiously like an international pop star, has a freelance hairdresser stashed in the back of the house for touch-ups. Yes, eventually Noah ends up going to the school where Claire teaches and even ends up her class [shivers] — but when they meet, it’s in the middle of summer, okay?

During an overwrought scene of exposition, Claire’s best friend (Kristin Chenoweth) reminds her — and clues us in — that it’s time to move on from that jerk of an estranged husband, played by John Corbett. (Aidan, you didn’t!) Apparently his many work trips to San Francisco were equal parts business and pleasure. I’m going to accept it because I am so afraid that there will be nobody here.’ But I think in our 20s and 30s we’re meant to explore and make a ton of mistakes,” she says. “And then by our 40s we come more full circle and figure things out.” Lopez has forgiven herself for mistakes she made in her youth. In fact, when she thinks about her past boyfriends and husband, the singer is reminded of her naiveté—and her resolve to do better next time. “I would have loved for my marriage in my 20s [to chef Ojani Noa in 1997] to last till I died, but I see that maybe that was too early. Claire wouldn’t normally be susceptible to the advances of a much younger man, but on the night in question, she had just been on a date with a guy who belittled her career. I had more things to learn, and he had more things to learn,” the two-time Grammy nominee says. “And [same with] the next person I married [choreographer Cris Judd in 2001].

You can tell she’s despondent because she goes home early to kick off her heels and curls up on the couch with a glass of red wine, the preferred beverage of women who have lost hope in men. I believe that two people can commit to each other and share a life together.” She is also thankful for her kids, who “make you believe in all kinds of things, like how anything is possible.” But Noah doesn’t take rejection easily (foreshadowing!) and says things like “no judgments, no rules, just us” and “you deserve to be loved.” We’re certain that under normal circumstances Claire would not succumb to coercion, but these are not normal circumstances (bad ex, bad date, red wine, no cookie, very advanced almost-20-year-old). Setting aside the creepy personality and aggressive tendencies, he’s also a factory of cheesy double entendres: “I really like your mother’s cookies,” he tells Kevin. Hey, all Claire did was have an affair with a preternaturally attractive guy who looks and sounds much older than he is, at a time when she was particularly vulnerable, and she didn’t even want to do it in the first place.

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