Careful What You Wish For
Starring Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas, Dermot Mulroney, Paul Sorvino, Kandyse McClure
No one accidently makes a movie this bad. I refuse to believe director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum accidently allowed this male teen fantasy thriller to constantly venture into the worst dialogue, worst editing, and worst acting. For pop music superstar and Entertainment Weekly’s sexiest person of the summer, Nick Jonas doesn’t fare too well in his first feature film. Sure he is doing some great things on television playing against type, steaming it up in his music videos, coinciding with the debut of his sophomore solo album. Jonas fans wanting the star to venture into film might, well, be careful what they wish for (see how cheesy that was…. not an accident).
Doug Martin (Jonas) and his best friend Carson (Graham Rogers) are looking forward to another moderately amusing summer on North Carolina’s Lake Lure. The two work at the local boat bar by night, while Doug works on boats for extra money during the day. Raleigh millionaire Elliot Harper (Dermot Mulroney) moves into the house next door to The Martin’s, along with his wife Lena (Isabel Lucas) who is 20 years younger than her husband. Elliot hires “Dougie” to work on his boat, putting Doug in the path of Lena, who is looking for attention outside of her marriage. Doug finds himself in an impossible situation with stories of abuse from Elliott, lying to his best friend and family about what he is doing, and what Lena will ask him to do next.
It manages to hold itself in a pre “action” scene porn movie state for 90 minutes.
The moment you can recognize how bad this is going to get is the way Rosenbaum frames Lena. At first it’s always in slow motion, always in extraordinarily high heels and overly seductive thin white miniskirts. One of the many, eye rolling, low points is Lena locked outside her house in only a paper towel thin shirt as it starts to rain. I had every intention of blaming some fantasy peddling novice director for living vicariously through this script, but poor Rosenbaum must have been so desperate to get into feature directing she said yes to a script that would be insulting to most female filmmakers. Careful What You Wish For is 90’s Sarah Michelle Geller film bad or just so all bases are covered, 80’s Sharon Stone bad.
“What’dya say we tag team’r and I’ll play with the rudder,” Elliott says to Doug as Lena walks by. Of course, he is referring to the boat, and that’s supposed to be uncomfortably funny, but it’s hilariously stupid. Mulroney is playing the same character from August: Osage County and in the cast, the only well-known actor you will find. Despite Jonas’s first leading film role, it’s Lucas who delivers the worst performance of 2016. It manages to hold itself in a pre “action” scene porn movie state for 90 minutes. Rosenbaum hasn’t a clue how to make this movie sexy, as the camera overtly hints at nudity (sorry for those looking for a skin flick, this one is all tease). It’s clearly filmed over a year ago as Jonas looks completely different in 2016. His three-minute video for hit single “Closer” is more stimulating than this skin-o-max wannabe.
Habitually stupid, carelessly trite.