March 12th, 2015 Movie – The Girl Next Door (2004)

the girl next door

For the record, I am not the one that purchased this movie. My ex is actually the one that bought it. Not sure why but that is neither her nor there. Anyway, the first time I saw this movie was when we rented it one night from Blockbuster. I know we where on a “24” kick so maybe that’s why we rented this. Whatever the case, we wound up watching it and sometime later, it wound up in our DVD collection. So let me get on with today’s movie, The Girl Next Door.

The plot: High school senior Matthew Kidman is trying to think of a memorable moment in his high school but can’t think of anything. However, things change when he sees his new next door neighbor, Danielle, undressing from his bedroom window. After Danielle gets a little bit of revenge on Matthew by making him strip in public, the two begin to hang out and Matthew begins to develop feelings for her. However, when Matthews friend Eli informs him that Danielle was a porn star, Matthew has trouble dealing with the news. He takes her out to motel but Danielle realizes that Matthew knows about her past and dumps him. Matthew goes to apologize but Danielle figures she can never escape her past and decides to go back into porn. Matthew tracks down Danielle to a porn convention where Danielle’s producer, Kelly, warns Matthew to stay away but Matthew convinces Danielle to leave with him. The next day, Kelly drags Matthew out of class and forces him to steal a statue from Hugo Posh to make up for the money he lost. He also steals all the money that Matthew had raised to bring a foreign exchange student over to study. Matthew asks Danielle for help and, along with some of her porn star friends, decide to make a video starring some of Matthews fellow students. The next day, Matthew learns that Kelly stole the tape and is threatening to show the tape to Matthews parents and principal unless he gets half of the profits. When Matthew doesn’t cave, he plays the tape, which turns out to be a new sex education tape for the school. In the end, Matthew and Danielle get back together and he manages to accomplish his dream of making it to Georgetown.

The Girl Next Door received mixed reviews form the critics, earning only a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. Several critics made a comparison to Risky Business, considering this a similar style film for a new generation. Roger Ebert said this was “a nasty piece of business” and that it never should have been marketed as a teen comedy. It was only mildly successful, earning just over $30 million off a $25 million budget.

This isn’t a terrible movie but it is only mildly entertaining. Emile Hirsch (Matthew) and Timothy Olyphant (Kelly) both were good in this movie. Elisha Cuthbert was ok but I honestly think she was cast more for her looks rather than her acting. But at least she is better than Jessica Alba. The story was actually decent and had the potential to be a lot funnier than it was but it was unfortunately lacking. Surprisingly, considering the theme of the movie, there wasn’t as much nudity as you would expect. Maybe that is why it got such bad reviews from the critics.

So is it this generations Risky Business? You will just have to watch it and see for yourself.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5


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