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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 Jay Seaver

"Part of my disappointment is that the movie seems like it could be better"
3 stars

I like the stars of this movie. Emile Hirsch has been good in a couple recent movies; Elisha Cuthbert is young and sexy and likeable on 24 even though the writers haven't known what to do with her character for roughly a year and a half. Chris Marquette is great on Joan Of Arcadia and a ton of fun here. The rest of the cast is a solid group of relative unknowns. And it starts out pretty well.

The opening bit is a little overdone (when a montage is two pop songs long, it could probably use cutting), but it outlines the basics of Matthew Kidman (Hirsch) - he's a high achiever who has never, oddly enough, done anything memorable. That's about to change, though, when Danielle (Cuthbert) moves in next door.

The trailers and ads have already publicized her secret, so it's not giving anything away to say she's been working in adult movies the past two years. And that's where the movie has its big problem. It never manages to settle into its relationship with the porn. On the one hand, it's something Danielle is trying to get away from, and a number of the people involved are portrayed as thoroughly reprehensible. On the other hand, Danielle doesn't seem particularly damaged by her time in the business, Kidman's best friend Eli (Marquette) watches a whole lot of it and wears a Vivid Video cap throughout the movie. Now, even though there's a good chance my mother is reading this, I'll say it's probably fair not to portray the industry as inherently evil; the folks involved are human and many are probably professional in conduct. But if a good chunk of the motivation for what goes on in the movie is that Danielle is better than her adult-movie past, it's peculiar to embrace it at the same time.

The movie does work as a teen-twenties romantic comedy, though. Matthew and Danielle are likeable sorts, and they're well-played by the actors. The story takes place in a pretty brief time-frame, which requires them to fall for each other quickly. It's an easy sell, though, and interesting in how they reverse the typical gender roles - here, it's the more experienced young woman who is won over by the younger guy's innocence. Their relationship is, if not low-key, far from overwrought. There's a sense that they like each other beyond the movie's need for them to be in love at first sight.

I suppose part of my disappointment is that the movie seems like it could be better. There's a nifty scene toward the beginning where Danielle is drawing on a placemat with crayons, and it feels like that should mean something, that she's been taken advantage of or that she's trying too hard to recapture what she was like when she was Matthew's age. It winds up being just a nifty scene not connected to anything, like a lot of the movie.

There are more than a few funny scenes, but there are also a lot that are only funny if you don't judge what the characters do, even though that judgment is implicit in the movie.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9203&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/03/04 04:01:12
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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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Australia
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