Let’s just call a spade a spade here? This film is J. Lo’s vanity project. Even still I was eager to see it, ready to laugh at it for all the wrong reasons. They can’t all be good, right?
High school teacher Claire Peterson (played by Jennifer Lopez) learns there’s something a bit more sinister behind the pretty face of her seemingly charming and irresistible new neighbor, Noah (played by newcomer Ryan Guzman). Newly enrolled at her high school, the “mature” senior student comes to town to care for his ailing relative, befriending Claire and her son in the process. Still dealing with the effects of her marriage on the rocks, she gives in to Noah’s advances. Realizing her mistake she desperately tries to cut ties, but the obsessive Noah has other ideas…
What I Liked: I was amused that this film turned out to be an R-rated Lifetime movie. It was full of clichés and bad lines, but there were rarely any dull moments. It surprised me a little bit because it turned out to be racier than I was expecting even though they conveniently cover J. Lo’s naughty bits. You have to give it to her though. She’s 45 and a mother of twins. Her figure is out of this world. If she wants to show it off, good for her. She is aware of her place in Hollywood and she exploits that accordingly.
Guzman is pure eye candy. As Noah he is crazy and you definitely want to see him get what’s coming, but he is a pretty man. And personally, while I have no plans to see this upcoming film as I’d rather endure a session of water boarding (#SorryNotSorry but those books were dreadful drivel), I can objectively say Guzman qualifies as a suitable Christian Grey. He’s better looking than who they currently have and he encompassed that controlling, creepy, pervy stalker vibe well, with an Oedipus complex to boot (why do the crazy ones always have mommy issues?). Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of him in the future.
What I Didn’t Like: For a movie of this level, obviously the acting and the script are sub par. But I wasn’t expecting anything Oscar worthy and I certainly didn’t get it. Was it predictable most of the time? Yes. Is Ryan Guzman remotely believable as anything other than a dude pushing 30? No. But all of that ended up being part of the fun. The film does take a pretty gory turn in the end so you might want to be prepared for that. It turned from a thriller to a horror film out of nowhere.
Overall: Based on the trailer I knew what I was getting myself into when I sat down to see this. The film was everything I thought it was going to be, if not a little more. Honestly it’s one of those films that so bad it’s good. I was entertained all throughout and the crowd appeared to be as well, critics included. I think it is best seen with a crowd because you can laugh together and react to a few shocking and ridiculous moments. It’s a great popcorn flick and nothing more.
Rating: An enthusiastic 2.5/ 5 Stars