The Girl Next Door (2004)
USA / English
"Matt never saw her coming... but all his friends had!
"A teenager's dreams come true when a former porn star moves in next door and they fall in love.
Kind of a homage to Risky Business but much more than that
I did not see this movie in theaters. I usually wait for teen films to
come out on video before viewing them. I must say, the way this movie
was marketed, one would figure that this flick is along the lines of
such classics as Bring It On and Can't Hardly Wait. Though this movie
definitely is now part of the illustrious teen film library, it runs a
little bit deeper than the average adolescent flick.
As the title suggest, this movie does have Risky Business written all
over it. The characters (the pimp vs the adult film director) the props
(glass egg vs the golden "trophy") as well as the music and language
definitely give this film an updated twist on RB. However, it would be
erroneous to write this film off as a rip-off, it just isn't afraid to
show it's influence.
Emile Hirsch is great as Matthew Kidman, the ambitious high school
senior (who actually looks like he's in high school) with an Ivy League
future. Straight and narrow, his life is spun on it's head once
Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) enters the picture. Cuthbert, playing a
free-spirited porn star, actually gives a rather understated
performance that is sincere and sweet. Matthew's once planned out life
is now lived more on the edge, and with that, he encounters some
interesting characters, such as Kelly, the shady porn director, played
flawlessly by Timothy Olyphant.
However, as the film progresses, the movie didn't delve as deeply into
Cuthbert's character as it should have. No insight into her background,
how did she get to where she is right now, etc. She also takes a back
seat to the growing tension between the Matthew and the sleazebag
Kelly. I must say, Olyphant is great in this film. He goes from being
hilarious to charming to scary in the span of about five minutes and
steals almost every scene he's in. The other supporting characters are
great. Chris Marquette (Eli) and Paul Dano (Klitz) are funny as
Hirsch's dorky friends, and hopefully Marquette will land more roles
like this. They too seem to become more adventurous once Danielle
enters the picture, what an influence one person can have.
So in the end, this does have a lot of the typical teen flick
campiness. There are jocks, hot chicks on campus, geeks, and the movie
itself has plenty of swearing, bathroom humor, slapstick, you name it.
There is a sweetness to the movie, as it's amazing what a person will
do when they fall in love. This movie has plenty of twists and turns,
so come along for the ride and have some fun.
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