Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door

Oh, to have Jennifer Lopez as your high school English teacher: a lipglossed goddess who waxes rhapsodic over Homer’s Odyssey, bakes fresh chocolate-chip cookies, and never seems to assign homework. Can you blame the boy next door for wanting more than long chats about meaning and metaphor in The Iliad? Especially if that boy (Ryan Guzman) is a transfer student who’s ”almost 20” (also his approximate number of abs) and a bona fide psychopath. After their one sexual encounter—”Her mistake. His obsession,” pants the poster’s breathless tagline—his crush spins quickly into a murderous fixation. A few deliciously bonkers bons mots dot the Lifetime-grade dialogue, and Lopez is game enough. But Boy‘s premise reeks of stalker-movie mothballs, and it’s too timid to fully dive into the high camp it hints at. Instead, this cookie just crumbles. C+

The Boy Next Door
  • Movie