Director: Daniel Barnz
Writer: Patrick Tobin (screenplay)
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick
Jennifer Aniston forgoes good hair and makeup as a woman suffering from chronic physical pain and mental anguish. She slogs thru her life in a pain-killer-induced stupor. Even with sympathy for the character’s plight, Aniston one-note performance doesn’t mine any depth or empathy. Not surprisingly, she does best with the few funny lines. It’s not all her fault: director Daniel Barnz lets the character’s haze dominate the pace. The plot is “painfully” predictable, including the tragic loss of a child and inevitable tortured companion (Sam Worthington) who helps turn her life around. This character study may find advocates in people who have experienced her plight, but it doesn’t reach it’s dramatic potential.
GAY ANGLE: Even though he keeps his clothes on, Worthington has never looked sexier.
The Boy Next Door
What is it with “people from the street” feigning intellectual? First, it was Mark Wahlberg in “Gambler,” now it’s Jennifer Lopez as a high school classics teacher. The titular boy (Ryan Guzman), who’s physically hot and mentally unstable, develops a possessive obsession with her. This plot is so overworked that I was sometimes calling the shots as they happened. To make matters worse, there are glaring lapses of logic. Still, director Rob Cohen manages to keep it interesting, although entirely forgettable.
GAY ANGLE: Guzman’s got a classic ripped body and it’s featured a few times.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.