Nick Jonas stars in risqué thriller “Careful What You Wish For”

Seldom do boy band members breakthrough as solo artists following the dismantling of their band, and even when they do make it, it’s not all the band members. When it comes to The Jonas Brothers, while it’s early to tell whether the other two brothers will maintain their status in the entertainment world, Nick Jonas has certainly seen a boost in his music career this year, what with the release of “Jealous” and his recent hit “Chains.”

Two days ago, like his music, Jonas‘s acting career took a turn for the more serious with the release of Careful What You Wish For, a thriller about a boy called Doug Martin who falls for the neighbour’s wife, Lena, played by Isabel Lucas, and proceeds to having an affair with her. Things soon start to spiral out of control when the abusive and growingly-suspicious hunband Elliot (Dermot Mulroney) takes notice, and a chilling murder occurs.

  
Nick Jonas does an alright to bad job as Doug Martin. Physically, he fits the role of the innocent ‘A’ student, attracted to an older woman. The musician/actor mentioned in an interview that his body transformation was partly fused by the nature of his role in this film, but I think that hurt him to some extent. His character is made out to be an extremely innocent teen with great grades, great manners, a job, and a nice family; a goody-two-shoes any parent would be lucky to have their daughter/son date. And that’s fine (way too embelished and overhyped, but fine), but crossing that sort of character with one like Lena is uncomfortable to see; not because of the age gap between the leads in the movie’s world, but because Lucas is in her element when it comes to Lena, and Jonas is just not. Especially in the first sexual encounters between the two, he seems really uncomfortable, like he didn’t want to be there. He portrays a character that is (as far as I know about him) the antithesis of what he is by nature, and while that’s completely fine; this is a movie role afterall, his uneasiness was palpable on screen, which diminished the initial appeal of the relationship between the two.

As for Lucas, she does a fairly better job playing Lena, a clever, cheeky seductress than Jonas does playing Doug. Lucas embodies her character and adopts her mindset quite well. While the acting itself could have been better, and she was annoyingly whiny in some scenes, she did a better job than I thought she would. That said, I think she should have integrated the elements she brought to the table with  her character in The Loft into Lena. That would have added a bit to the performance, and I mean performance in more ways than one.

  
What was probably the ultimate downfall of the movie, especially because it’s one that involves an affair, was the lack of chemistry between the two leads. It just felt like neither of them really wanted to be there, and that what they were doing was just their jobs. Their relationship wasn’t believable enough. While some may argue that the ending would justify this, that still doesn’t give the movie a pass for the 75 minutes it spent trying to convince viewers otherwise.

The score was disappointing to say the least. Imagine the leads in a kitchen, swapping glances in silence, breathing slowly, tensions rising, eyes transfixed on each other. A few words are exchanged that may or may not be sexual innuendos, hints are dropped, heartbeats accelerate. They move closer to each other without establishing contact. They crave each other, you make youself believe it. And then they lock lips…to trance-ish music? To fucking trance-ish music.

 

Who picked the score for this. It was terrible. All throughout the movie, the strangest selection of songs that had nothing to do with the scenes were there. Trance music. Bitch, please.

The setting of the movie was a bit inconsistent. The contrast between the  Christian Grey-like mansion and the cabin that was Doug’s house was annoying. It was like bouncing back and forth between something that looked authentic and another that was unnecessarily distracting. Considering the quaintness of the town, and the nature of the rest of the setting, the lavish house was ill-fitting.

  
Another aspect I didn’t like was how certain events happened really arbitrarily. A character that proves an integral part of the movie was just added to mix (although I liked how she was introduced). The most random plot twist lead up to the mother and father of all outrageous plot twists. I mean, it’s like joking around about something and it actually happening.

One thing the movie had going for it was the storyline’s direction. With a movie like this, you’d suspect a cliché ending. In Careful What You Wish For, you sort of see a few things coming and write off the rest of the plot, but it plays a few tricks on you leading up to the final reveal that totally caught me off-guard. The ending itself doesn’t provide complete closure, and Doug says the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a while, but I won’t spoil it for you. In a sense, it’s nice to deviate from the normal bad guy caught good guy wins dynamic.

Ultimately, Careful What You Wish For does very little to boost Nick Jonas‘s more serious acting career, but does offer a thing or two to latch on to. A riské thriller at its core, the movie lacks that which it needed to tick: appeal. And therein lies the failure of the movie.

RATING: 36/100

Image Sources: nchollywood.com, 300mblinks.co, leaker.se

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Reel Rambler

A review of movies - old, new, local, and foreign - as seen through the eyes of a 22 year-old based in Beirut.

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