Review:‘Careful What You Wish For’ cheesy, but knows it

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

The inexperienced younger man. The seductive older woman. The inattentive husband. The dead body. The third act twist. “Careful What You Wish For” isn’t just an erotic thriller, it’s every erotic thriller.

Nick Jonas stars as Doug Martin, a young go-getter who is looking to party for the summer when Elliott Harper (Dermot Mulroney) and wife Lena (Isabel Lucas) move in next door.

Harper is a well-to-do investment banker who hires Doug to restore his sailboat. Doug is more interested in Lena, and they enter into a steamy affair that lands Doug in all sorts of hot water.

There’s a rhythm to these things, and screenwriter Chris Frisina has certainly watched his share of late-night cable TV thrillers. “Careful What You Wish For” doesn’t break the mold; you can set your watch to its twists and turns. It winds up playing as an homage to the genre.

Jonas, now even more of a beefcake than he was when filming took place in 2013, plays the naive, aw-shucks type, but he’s never far from whipping off his shirt. Lucas is the more experienced seductress whose master plan is slowly revealed.

Director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum lays the cheese on thick, but she knows what she’s doing. Even the title works as a knowing wink to genre conventions. The gardener who knows too much, the insurance agent who’s a little too thorough: In “Careful What You Wish For,” you just might get it.

(313) 222-2284

‘Careful What You Wish For’


Rated R for some sexual content/nudity and language

Running time: 92 minutes