Title: When the Bough Breaks
Release Date: September 9, 2016
Studio: Screen Gems
Director: Jon Cassar
Release Format: Theatrical
When I saw the trailer for this movie, I simply put my head down and shook my head. I did not want to review this movie. How many times can someone make a blatant rip-off of Fatal Attraction before we finally wise up? We had Swimfan, The Crush, The Hand The Rocks The Cradle, Single White Female, Obsessed, The Perfect Guy, Sleeping With The Enemy, The Boy Next Door and now we have When The Bough Breaks. I’m sure there are others but those are the only ones I can think of right now. Funny enough, When The Bough Breaks, Obsessed, and The Perfect Guy are all Screen Gems Productions. Listen, it’s bad enough you keep putting me through garbage Resident Evil Adaptations. It’s another thing to add salt in the wound by remaking this trite over and over.
Is a woman falling for a man she can’t have such a hot topic that we have to witness countless movies about it from now until the end of time? Well, the minds behind this train-wreck seemed to think so.When The Bough Breaks is not a movie. When The Bough Breaks is a product. It’s a shameful cash-grab that they assembled and threw onto a conveyer belt. If you have seen any one of those movies, you have literally seen this. This is a god awful movie and now I have the pleasure of telling you why. Oh, Goodie!
Now, I’ll be fair, When The Bough Breaks actually starts off on a decent note. It was a tad generic but not half bad at least in the first 30 minutes. John (Morris Chestnut) and Laura (Regina Hall) are a married couple on the lookout for a surrogate mother to carry their child. They soon find one in Anna Walsh (Jaz Sinclair), a young woman who seems to be genuine and sweet. When Anna’s abusive boyfriend beats her, John & Laura allow Anna to stay with them in the guest house until the baby is born. However, true to the formula of these films, Anna may not be who she seems.
So, when the film begins, Anna seems like a decent enough character. She has a comically over-the-top abusive boyfriend (Theo Rossi). No, seriously, this was the most cliche’d evil boyfriend I’ve seen in recent years. But then she gets away from him. These two people come into her life and show her kindness and it seems like she’s never had that before. It gives us a reason to kind of care about her. It also makes sense why she would want to seduce the husband in that case. She simply forms an attraction to his kindness. It’s something she’s never known before and doesn’t want to give up.
Taking everything I just said into account, be prepared to chuck it all out the window. You see, the movie begins with us “thinking” it’s going down that route. Then the movie simply betrays itself and everything it has going, in favor of just saying “she was crazy the whole time”. It stops being new and turns into all the other rip-offs of this material I listed earlier. In a way, that makes me hate this more than the others. At least those rip-offs were honest about what they were. They didn’t pretend to be kind of different and then pull the rug out from under me half-way in. And once the rug gets pulled out, this movie’s tastelessness goes off the rails in ways I can’t even fit in my head. When your script resorts to characters talking about selling babies, just stop writing. Immediately!!!
When The Bough Breaks is a film that refuses to end. It has about three or four climax’s, each one more insane and nonsensical than the last. It gets to a point where the film has no idea what it’s even doing anymore. Since I would not wish this film on anyone, I’m gonna give a couple minor spoilers. I normally wouldn’t do this but I have to in order to explain why I despise this film so much.
When Anna finally goes full on insane as you’d expect, she leaves with the baby. According to the laws that this film tries to shove down our throats, she is well within her rights to do so. However, they also established earlier that she has a history of drug abuse, prostitution, and murder. In what sick reality can this couple not get their baby back on legal grounds? She’s clearly an unfit parent. They even had a private investigator look up her past for them. How stupid does this movie think we are? on top of this, they established that she killed her ex-boyfriend. It should not be hard to get that baby from her legally and this film states that it is. Oh, did I mention that John, the main character, is a lawyer? This is so dumb it’s actually kind of scary.
Now, is there any suspense in this film when it comes to the romantic thriller aspect of it? No, there is absolutely none. There might have been if John ever did anything with Anna. If he fell for her temptations, slept with her or really did anything, there might have been some suspense to this film with John’s actions coming back to haunt him. However,the film never did that. Every single time she tries to flirt and tempt him, he pushes her away and tells her “this needs to stop”. He’s a responsible guy so there is no suspense to be had here at all. There’s no tension or any real chance for these actors to give a performance. There’s no development or arc for any of the characters. The story doesn’t exist so much as it just happens.
When The Bough Breaks is currently one of the top contenders for worst film of 2016. Right now, it’s between this, How To Be Single and Independence Day: Resurgence. It’s gonna be a close one guys. It is a generic rehashing of done-to-death material and one of the worst to date. Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall are both great in this film. But the sad thing is, that only makes me hate the film more. It’s wasting the talents of two great actors. I hope that they can get better work in the future. As for Jaz Sinclair, she has two modes; Stoic and Looney Tunes. I’m sorry to say that what works for Nicolas Cage, does not work for her.
If you have a functioning brain, just avoid this film like the plague. You’ll thank me later.
- Morris Chestnut & Regina Hall give better performances than a film like this deserves.
- Unoriginal & Uninspired
- Obvious Cash Grab
- Predictable Down To The Last Detail
- Had No Idea What It Wanted To Do In The Last Act... I Swear, There Are About Three Climax's In This Thing.
- Jaz Sinclair Has Two Modes: Stoic & Looney Tunes. What Works For Nicolas Cage, Does Not Work For Her.
- Over The Top Bad Guy
- Trite Script