Oprah obsessed Alice Klieg suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder which causes her to be socially awkward, impulsive and stubborn, and she's about to find out that money truly can buy you anything. After winning an impressive $86 million in the lottery, her first port of call is a major TV station, where she pitches an idea for hosting her own talk show. They offer her a slot at a cool $15 million, and she subsequently decides to stop taking her medication and pursue fame and recognition. The only problem is, she sucks at hosting her own show. The producers know they have to do something to save their embarrassment over this fiasco of a deal, but with Alice stuck in her own world and resolutely ignoring advice from friends and family, there's not a lot they can do to help her.
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A cheesy TV movie ramped up with language and violence, this sudsy thriller is far more fun to watch than it should be. With its tepid spin on the plot of Fatal Attraction, the film strains to be a bunny-boiler, but entertains the audience because it's so preposterous that not a single moment is remotely believable. And since the cast refuses to play it straight, camping it up while smirking at the camera, it's enjoyable in all the wrong ways.
Jennifer Lopez stars as Claire, a high school teacher who has recently split from her husband Garrett (John Corbett) and is still getting used to life on her own with teen son Kevin (Ian Nelson). Then the astoundingly hunky 19-year-old Noah (played by 27-year-old Ryan Guzman) moves in next door with his invalid uncle (Jack Wallace) after his parents die in a fiery car crash. Super friendly, Noah quickly begins to help Kevin stand up to the school bullies and pursue the hot girl (Lexi Atkins). But Noah also begins to flirt relentlessly with Claire, and in a moment of neediness she gives in. While she sees this as a mildly transgressive restorative fling, Noah thinks it's true love, and pursues her tenaciously. And when Claire begins to trying to patch things up with Garrett, Noah takes Kevin out for a bit of gun practice.
Despite a tendency to drift into grisly violence, there's nothing edgy here. It's a swirling storm of innuendo and suggestion, with a strong sense of menace that never quite convinces us, even with a couple of gruesome plot points. This may be because the camera clearly loves Lopez so much that we know she's never in danger.
Continue reading: The Boy Next Door Review
Life is complicated enough for teacher, Claire (Jennifer Lopez). Her husband, Kevin (Ian Nelson) is having an affair with his secretary and their marriage is close to falling apart entirely. With Kevin barely around, she is left struggling to do some of the work around the house and raise her son. Until the young and fit boy next door, Noah (Ryan Guzman) offers a helping hand. In a moment of weakness, Claire falls for Noah and they being their own affair. But when Claire calls it off, things get thrown way out of proportion. Noah tries to reveal the truth and has himself transferred to her class at school. While trying to tear apart her career, Noah also seems intent on killing Claire's husband. He is far for the quiet boy next door she thought.
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Drawing from every noir cliche in the book (drinking binges are punctuated by ghostly voice-overs... awesome), Brown's Requiem (based on a James Ellroy novel) is a virtual remake of Chinatown, with its deeply flawed P.I. hero (Michael Rooker), mysterious femme fatale (Selma Blair), and a conspiracy that works its way up the ranks of Los Angeles society.
Continue reading: Brown's Requiem Review
Despite the High Seas setting, the film takes the form of merely a series of conversations among various characters on the boat. Central to them is grad student Dale (Tony Mamet, David's brother), working the boat to earn money during the summer. Then there's an ornery captain (Charles Durning) and his number two (George Wendt). There's a strange fireman (Denis Leary) who stays below deck. There are horny guys (J.J. Johnston and Jack Wallace) who argue the merits of Steven Seagal and his toughness. There's also a lovable deckhand (Robert Forster) who teaches Dale a thing or two about life, love, and so on.
Continue reading: Lakeboat Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
Oprah obsessed Alice Klieg suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder which causes her to be socially...
A cheesy TV movie ramped up with language and violence, this sudsy thriller is far...
Life is complicated enough for teacher, Claire (Jennifer Lopez). Her husband, Kevin (Ian Nelson) is...