Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant, James Remar, Chris Marquette
Director: Luke Greenfield
I’m sure there will be many misconceptions about this movie, the main one being that this is going to be just another teen comedy, but it’s really much more than that. Sure, it’s a comedy and a very funny one, but I’ll tell you right now, it’s an excellent movie with a lot more to it than a few smutty laughs.
Matthew (Emile Hirsch) is just about to graduate, he’s a normal guy with normal school friends, but he is not one of life’s risk takers, he doesn’t mix with the ‘louder’ crowd, doesn’t go to wild parties and doesn’t have a girlfriend, although he would like one, because he’s a little nervous of girls. There’s nothing wrong with him, he’s not even what you would call a nerd, he just doesn’t have much experience yet.
But things are about to change when a stunning young blonde babe, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), moves in next door and Matthew immediately gets caught accidentally watching her getting undressed through the window. Initially Danielle makes him pay for his embarrassment but it doesn’t take long for the pair to get together and romance blossoms. But things don’t go smoothly in life or in the movies and suddenly Danielle’s secret is out. She’s porn’s hottest star! Of course Matthew is initially shocked but he quickly gets over his own hang-ups and pursues Danielle to the AVN convention in Las Vegas – the porn industry’s equivalent to Cannes and the Oscars.
The fun doesn’t stop there however because as well as coping with all this Danielle’s producer is thousands of dollars out of pocket and he blames Matthew, plus Matthew is facing a ruined future through losing the cash he has raised for charity and on top of that his chance to win a university scholarship is about to go out the window.
The surprising thing about THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is not that’s it’s funny, which it really is, but it’s the way Matthew overcomes his problems and the end result which is unexpected.
Also the writing is right on the money, the pace is just right, the characters are believable and every time you think that you are at a point in the film where that’s all there is going to be to it – there’s more fresh plot around the corner.
Everyone deserves a mention in this film, Matthew’s two buddies, Danielle’s producer Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) in fact so many of the various supporting roles all make their mark on the movie and not least of course the two main stars Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert who’s so hot she could burn the screen!
Also the movie commendably does not take any kind of moralistic high ground against the porn industry, although there is quite a poignant line when Matthew is asked if he wouldn’t prefer a girl closer to his age to which he answers “she is my age”. Although no more is made of this in the film it does highlight the different worlds that we live in. While one eighteen year-old girl is starring in an adult movie another is going to senior prom and thinking about their ‘first time’.
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is definitely a comedy for today and there’s even a bit of a love story there too. But don’t worry it doesn’t spoil the fun!