Hello all, and welcome to my review of When the Bough Breaks! 😀
Starring: Morris Chestnut (John Taylor), Regina Hall (Laura Taylor), Jaz Sinclair (Anna Walsh), Theo Rossi (Mike Mitchell)
Plot (taken from IMDb):
“A surrogate mom for a couple becomes dangerously obsessed with the soon-to-be father.”
Morris Chestnut (John Taylor) – I’m really starting to like this actor! 😀 Also, I’m shocked to admit, I really liked his character. I went in assuming that at some point in the movie I would lose all respect for him, but it never happened.
Regina Hall (Laura Taylor) – This is one tough lady, and I admire her. She’s willing to do anything for her unborn child. I also love the trust she had in her husband throughout the movie, even when she had every reason not to.
Jaz Sinclair (Anna Walsh) – She’s a special brand of crazy. The actress did a great job of striking a balance between her normally shy demeanor, and the quiet crazy brewing underneath the surface. She seems so down to earth, and really sweet, but she’s got a serious dark side.
Theo Rossi (Mike Mitchell) – Lol, this guy plays an amazing creeper. Seriously, the way he smiled really made me think of him as a total sociopath. Unlike Anna, however, he couldn’t hide his true colors. He did a fantastic job!
Right off the bat, this movie reminded me of a few I’ve seen before. It has a very familiar plotline – like Fatal Attraction or The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. This movie was well done, but also maybe done too many times.
They did manage to put a few interesting spins on it, which kept me engaged. I wish they had branched out just a little further though, and covered more new territory.
I think my favorite thing is the relationship between John and Laura.
It’s seriously adorable how happy they are together. The strength of their relationship shines through in all of their scenes together. They’re constantly supporting each other, and in general being really loving with each other.
Meanwhile, Ana seems like this cute, shy girl. Super sweet, and perfect in every way.
She does a scary 180 fairly quickly, however. As much as Mike is a creeper in this movie, she’s the queen of creep. She’s so adamant and sure that John should be with her, that her obsession seems to take over her mind completely.
And she is seriously scary when she’s upset, and feeling like she’s been wronged somehow. She’s capable of a lot of evil, and it comes through in her increasingly aggressive attempts to seduce John away from Laura.
And here I have to apologize. Brace yourselves for a mild tangent/rant about this particular plot device.
This is just a pet peeve of mine, and it’s probably just me. In fact, I dislike it so much I’ll stop watching shows and movies that do this.
Cheater drama. -.-
Seriously, kudos to the writers on making the husband have a brain. Not all men are led around by their privates, but they always seem to be portrayed that way in movies like this one. Inevitably, the guy gives in to the psychotic, yet stunning, [nanny/surrogate/secretary/fill in the blank] because boobs = a loss of thinking ability.
This stereotype normally irritates me. It’s not a given that if a woman makes a pass at a man, he will immediately decide they must do the dance of sex – “forget the kids, the wife, the life I had before, because this… *looks at watch*… 20 rad minutes of naked time is totally worth it!”
This is how the scene normally goes, with very little variation:
Random woman of questionable virtue: “Yo!”
Previously devoted husband lacking in the mental facilities: “Sup?”
RWoQV: “It appears I have boobs! Lookie!”
PDHLitMF: *throws hands in the air* “That’s it! I have seen the boobs! We must do the sex now!”
Same goes with the lonely/bored/underappreciated housewife running across [Mr. Mysterious Studmuffin of Smexyman County/Broodypants Tortured Artist/Bad Boy McSmolderface/fill in the blank… or don’t, maybe, because the main character is already married]. Just because a woman sees rippling pectoral muscles does not mean the sex is imminent.
I get being overwhelmed by passion. That’s awesome, under other circumstances. I also get that this type of plot device builds drama in the story. But it irks me when movies/books/tv shows make a habit of only showcasing the spouses that cheat. Cheating happens, and it’s horrible, and it’s generally a deal-breaker for me. I end up hoping the cheater gets run over by a zamboni.
Even if they’re the main character. Even if I liked them 10 minutes prior, when they were snuggling their spouse. I. Don’t. Care.
Cheating = slow zamboni death.
That being said, in real life not everybody walks around under the constant influence of their apparently uncontrollable nethers. Hence, characters finding themselves in these situations shouldn’t always be controlled by their naughty bits either.
For a bit of variety, every now and then, how about the characters just say no to naked time that doesn’t involve their spouse?
There. Mini-rant over.
There is a certain situation which arises towards the end, which really kind of cemented my respect for John and Laura. I don’t want to ruin it for you, in case you watch it, so I’ll just say it was handled really well. John’s emotional reaction was a little painful to watch, and it was a rare role reversal that doesn’t often get brought up. Morris Chestnut did a great job with getting the character’s feelings across in these scenes without really saying a word.
This movie did an awesome job of putting the spotlight on a man who is loyal to his wife. That’s not to say he isn’t a little tempted. He’s human, and he does have blood running through his veins, rather than dust. He just isn’t a moron who would willingly Matrix 3 his entire life for shallow, fleeting lust.
My rating for When the Bough Breaks: Not Bad – This was a good movie over all, but it had a very familiar plot that I think kept it too close to other movies I’ve seen like this one. I feel like it could have branched out a little more to distinguish itself, but I would definitely watch it again. Check this one out if you like movies like The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and Fatal Attraction, or romantic thrillers in general centered around obsession.
My Rating System:
Epic: This movie is so mind-bogglingly awesome that I may go see it twice. This one will have a place of honor on my shelf.
Cash-Worthy: Good stuff. This will most likely find a place on my shelf.
Not Bad: I liked it. I’m glad I saw it, and it may or may not end up on my shelf at some point. I would say rent it first to be safe.
Meh: Rent it first. You may love it or hate it, but I’m indifferent probably because it’s not my type of movie. I’m glad I saw it, but it won’t end up on my shelf.
Emergency Cake: I have an emotional reaction to movies sometimes, especially to tragedies. If a movie makes me sad or angry, sometimes it will stick with me for a while. At these times, only chocolate cake can save me. Chocolate cake makes everything better. No shelf for you. Ever.