Careful What You Wish For (2015) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Writer: Chris Frisina
Stars: Nick Jonas,  Kiki Harris,  David Sherrill

A guy gets more than he bargained for after entering into an affair with the wife of an investment banker. Soon, a suspicious death and substantial life insurance policy embroil him in a scandal.

Running time: 1 hour 31 minutes
IMDB Score: 5.6

Why I watched it: I love film noir films and sadly we don’t get many anymore so this is as close to the genre as we get now so I watched it.

Random thoughts: So let’s be clear this has all the set up and trappings as a film noir, an attractive younger women married to a wealthy older man starts an affair with another man, you know the rest.  The thing is they don’t make real film noir anymore it’s like film noir Lite: Just half the calories.  This is a PG-13 type film, so really no nudity and the violence is mostly off screen or not very gory.  Oh and of course everyone is super attractive.

What I liked: The set up is fine, college kid is off for the summer at his family’s summer home, and of course a rich guy moves next door with an attractive wife.  There’s a slow build and I will say Nick Jonas is fine as a every man/young man likable presence.  The cast is pretty good for this lower budget film, Dermot Mulroney plays the rich husband, who may or may not be an asshole, Isabel Lucas is the wife or the femme fatal if you will, she’s attractive and you could see why Jonas would be attracted to her.

The set up the sexual tension pretty well and they also set up Jonas getting to know Mulroney, so they do have the lead deal with the fact that he wants to sleep with another man’s wife and add to the fact he knows him and he’s been decent to him.  Paul Sorvino shows up as a sheriff and a bar owner and to also pick up a paycheck.  Even though this is pretty cliched they do set up things pretty well, this is a formula picture and you can give them credit pay getting the formula right.

What I didn’t Like: First off, Nick Jonas is too good looking, this kind of film works cause the guy falls for a women or at least lusts after a women who is out of his league, we have to believe he would do anything to have this women, she’s married, she lives next door, our lead has to be desperate. Nick Jonas can go into a bar or down to the beach and he won’t be leaving alone.  This is another thing that hurts the film, it’s not sexy, it’s not steamy.

For this kind of film to work the guy has to want the women like a drug, he has to be willing to so things that he wouldn’t normally do, if you hit that part right then it becomes believable or at least understandable.  Isabel Lucas is pretty but would you kill for her, now it’s possible but you have to build to that, we have to see a relationship build, they can’t meet four times and Nick Jonas is just in love with her, we need the relationship to have chemistry.  Jonas is a decent actor he does what is required but Lucas is a little stiff, she needed to be more alluring show more personality.

My main problem with the film is these are stock characters and the actors weren’t able to milk more out of it, they’re bland, types not people.  Dermot Mulroney does the best job of at least hinting at a personality, he wasn’t your standard villain twirling his mustache, it’s a thankless role but he put some effort into it.
Final thoughts: It was what it was, a watchable but not very original film, since I’m a film noir junkie it did give me my fix and goodness knows I’ve seen worst but it never colored outside the lines, this stayed in the cliched genre the whole time, but the cast was at least watchable and it was crisp at just over a hour and a half.

Rating: 5/10

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