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Overall Rating
3.75

Awesome: 30.3%
Worth A Look38.64%
Average: 15.15%
Pretty Bad: 7.58%
Total Crap: 8.33%

11 reviews, 66 user ratings


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Girl Next Door, The (2004)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Sweet, silly, sexy and (brace yourself) even a little sincere."
4 stars

Well waddaya know? Despite a seeming kinship with just about every low-end Teenage Sex Comedy under the sun, Luke Greenfield's 'The Girl Next Door' bucks convention by being bright, breezy, quite hilarious and more than a little endearing. Early comparisons to 'Risky Business' are as appropriate as they are intentional.

One can only withstand so many Perfect Scores and New Guys and Van Wilders before they dismiss any teen-oriented comedy as leering and simpering and more than a little obsessed with bodily fluids and flatulence. The deluge of awful Teen Comedies is so unending (to say nothing of obnoxious) that one might be tempted to dismiss the whole sorry sub-genre.

In which case, one would overlook a fantastic little comedy like The Girl Next Door. And that would be a shame. This is a movie about teenagers and sexuality that doesn't ogle and objectify its subject matter; it's sunny and confident and even a little bit touching in the end. And all this coming from a guy who generally detests anything that could be accurately referred to as a "Teen Sex Comedy". One assumes that for every three dozen cases of Sorority Boys, we're due at least one movie like The Girl Next Door.

The frankly fantastic Emile Hirsch (The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys) plays Matthew Kidman, a studious and decent teenager. Matt's not a geek and he's certainly not Joe Cool; he exists in a hazy comfort zone that sees him well-liked yet typically insecure. The young Mr. Kidman's defining trait is that he's sort of a control freak...a personality trait that's about to get a massive overhaul once the stunningly sexy Danielle moves in next door.

Danielle (as you no doubt already know from the trailers and the plot synopses) is a former porn star looking for a little quiet time in Matthew's comfy little burg. The pair strike up a sweet little romance, Matthew quickly discovers Dani's sinful secret, and we're headed straight into Sitcom Country, right?

Happily, no. The screenplay (by Brent Goldberg & David Wagner, with overhauls by Stuart Blumberg and director Luke Greenfield) is just a little bit craftier than what we've come to expect from High-Concept Plot Concepts like "porn star moves in next door to a horny teen". Toss in a half-dozen excellent performances, a surprisingly adept directorial presence (from a guy who cut his teeth on a Rob Schneider flick, no less), frequent doses of big brazen belly-laughs, and a stellar soundtrack worthy of a 2-disc release...and you get the biggest surprise of the year so far.

Worthy of special note is the movie's opening sequence: it's one of the most sincere and poignant recollections of "the high school experience" that I've ever seen in a movie. This introduction starts the movie out on a very high note, a clear indication that there's some actual heart behind the relatively broad sex farce/romantic comedy that's about to unfold.

The cast: strong across the board. from Timothy Bottoms' small turn as Matthew's dad to the two affable goofballs who play his best friends (Paul Dano & Chris Marquette), the casting directors got just about everything right on this one. Those who know the lovely Elisha Cuthbert solely from her perpetual presence on TV's 24 will feel like they've come across some buried treasure here. Clearly this is not an actress who'd have much trouble playing it "sexy" but there's also some real depth to her performance. Elisha's best moments come alongside Hirsch, as the two maintain a playful chemistry throughout the movie.

Of course any good comedy needs a scene-stealer or two. In this case we have Timothy Olyphant as Danielle's "producer" friend Kelly. Olyphant accomplishes something special here as he deftly straddles the line between Rascal & Bastard. Essentially he's the villain of the piece, but Olyphant is equal parts charming, crafty and conniving. The actor turns a one-note baddie into something considerably more entertaining.

Some of the pre-release buzz on The Girl Next Door compared the flick favorably to such High School Classics as Risky Business, Clueless and American Pie, and it's refreshing to announce that such comparisons are indeed well-earned. Heck, this one's funnier than Clueless all by itself.

It sounds like an impossible concoction of sweet, silly, sexy & sincere, yet 'The Girl Next Door' is precisely that. It's not just a great little comedy laden with laughs and tunes and sexy girls; it's a testament to how even the most belabored of genres can be reinvigorated when the filmmakers actually, y'know, try.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9203&reviewer=128
originally posted: 04/09/04 14:40:12
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User Comments

1/08/16 David Hollingsworth creepily bad 2 stars
7/27/13 Joe Sucked! 2 stars
11/16/09 mr.mike I saw the TV-PG version on FX. 3 stars
6/02/08 ben dover jesus elisha cuthbert is the most fuckable chick on the planet 4 stars
6/01/08 james bollington worst film i have seen in ages. awful dialogue, 2d characters, confusing and absurd plot 1 stars
4/01/07 fools♫gold I just have to rate this to stress how ATROCIOUS it is! 1 stars
3/07/07 Frank Rountree Good movie, it really draws you into it. Great acting! 4 stars
2/22/07 Beau An excellent movie with brilliant cast, deserves a few awards i think, 'cuthbert' is amazin 5 stars
1/03/07 GasAttacK Elisha "Hotter than the Sun" Cuthbert plays a porn star turned girl next door; superb. 5 stars
11/11/06 David Pollastrini all the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
11/09/06 Dark Enchantress funny movie, and great boobies! 5 stars
8/05/06 nicklor24 funny and good film, check it out 5 stars
1/18/06 cody A cool teenage boy 's dream movie, with ok story ,cool songs,and what yet of a cast 4 stars
1/08/06 Zaw Damn, I can't believe I waited this long to see this flick!!!!! 5 stars
1/03/06 Wiseman I want a girl friend like her :+( 5 stars
12/15/05 Olan Munji entertaining enough 3 stars
11/24/05 cr a fun movie,ever young man dream , yet i felt a little cheated 3 stars
11/23/05 Sully Risky Business for the 2000's...Cuthbert had me hard all night long..... 4 stars
11/21/05 JN Excellent! This movie was great entertainment 5 stars
11/08/05 sudip bhowmik its a excellent film 5 stars
9/11/05 Nicholas Sheldon Underrated. The writing is top notch and Greenfield gives the film true depth. 5 stars
9/09/05 Ric Funny, smart, sweet, and sexy, it's the perfect teen comedy. 5 stars
6/13/05 Josh Camp Good movie.. I enjoyed it 5 stars
6/03/05 Kaitlyn Pierce sexy 5 stars
4/11/05 tristan Great cast, cool story, inpirational for geeks. 5 stars
3/31/05 christian its hot 5 stars
3/17/05 Naughty Devil Man If Elisha Cuthbert ever asked me to fuck her, I'd die of a coronary. 5 stars
2/21/05 xxplosive This is a very funny movie. 4 stars
2/14/05 WatsUp Good plot but a bit heavy for school kids. 3 stars
1/04/05 posse fuck those who doesn't enjoy this movie, chicks in here are totally awesome, esp. elisha 5 stars
11/21/04 Charlene Javier I'm not a horny teenage boy so I didn't enjoy this. 2 stars
11/05/04 creview Insightful, sharp, and stunningly well told. Far beyond the limits of the genre. 5 stars
11/01/04 Scenic1988 Elisha Cuthbert is the beatiful girl i've ever seen 5 stars
10/28/04 fordefisher Excellent movie with some very touching moments 5 stars
10/14/04 Justin Overall a great movie! Very truthfull 5 stars
9/17/04 y2mckay Well-written teen comedy with a likable cast - and of course Elisha, hotter than the sun. 4 stars
9/12/04 alfred zhou it is a exciting film,i am falled with the story,and saw two times in 24 huors 4 stars
9/06/04 Samuel one of the best comedies i've seen in quite some time... 5 stars
9/05/04 Titus For a teen flick, could be a lot worse. 4 stars
9/04/04 jeff ever wateched popular mecnics for kids?? knew she would be a hottie one grown up. 4 stars
9/04/04 paul hines one of the best films ive seen in a long while the story is so good great film 5 stars
8/27/04 Mike Stanbridge The concept and Cuthbert make this worth the money 4 stars
8/26/04 tatum Not bad, better than "Risky Business" 4 stars
8/26/04 David Frommer EricDSnider proves wiser than Roger Ebert, A.O. Scott with this excellent review. 5 stars
8/26/04 gREG PROBERT I LOVED THIS MOVIE 5 stars
8/14/04 fyrebat this movie was hilarious 5 stars
7/17/04 legend Okay, I was sucked in by the trailers but it wasn't that bad. Funny film. 4 stars
6/30/04 Vinny Spinz THIS MOVIE ROCKED! Plus Elisha Cuthbert is SOOO Sexy, WORD 5 stars
5/28/04 Millie Maelstrom Great moral: A guy's a "faggott" unless he jumps at chance to fuck likely venerial cesspool 1 stars
5/21/04 Mermaid's Pedicurist Again, fartophobic EricDSnider likes many things mightily more obnoxious than farts. 3 stars
5/19/04 Priscilla Postlethwaite What smart guy would fall for girl who forced him to run down street naked? Dumb "comedy". 3 stars
5/03/04 Al Really Funny 5 stars
4/28/04 SIr Spam-a-lot Better thatn I expected 4 stars
4/28/04 Drew Immediately became one of my all time favorites!!! 5 stars
4/23/04 john wallace good comic relief...the shots of cuthbert are awesome....she is beautiful. 3 stars
4/19/04 maumau Emile Hirsche is so hot!! great step from the emperors club 5 stars
4/18/04 TIFFANY GREAT MOVIE I LOVE IT ITS GREAT!!! 5 stars
4/12/04 eyamxi very nice, loved the ending 5 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 Im not big on comedies but i did have fun 4 stars
4/11/04 K As bad as Cabin Fever 1 stars
4/11/04 Ripoff Didn't I see this same movie when it was called "Risky Business"? Crap... 1 stars
4/11/04 ajay only saw it cause of the bitchslap review, and it was good. soundtrack's amazing. 4 stars
4/11/04 Michael Delightful, intelligent, sweet, and Timothy Olyphant scores another scene-stealing triumph 5 stars
4/07/04 Desperado great movie, funny as hell, and elisha cuthbert is the hottest thing on the planet 5 stars
4/05/04 lucas pornstars 5 stars
4/05/04 Ray Big deal 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Apr-2004 (R)
  DVD: 24-Aug-2004

UK
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