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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 robertrosado

"A refreshing and funny surprise."
5 stars

As of right now, I graduated high school almost seven months ago. In my time spent there, the one thing that I can distinctly remember is my desire to make an impression on the students and teachers around me. I had heard that high school formed the best years of your life, and (for the most part) that was true. In Luke Greenfield’s “The Girl Next Door”, our protagonist is a smart kid who wants something more…

Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) is a high school student with a good head on his shoulders, and a clear road ahead of him. He in the middle of applying for an important scholarship to Georgetown, and is almost certain to make it as a politician. But something is missing. While he is filling out his yearbook survey, he comes to the “I Will Always Remember…” section. He pauses. He realizes that he has been sleepwalking through the past four years, and has never done anything of interest. That is, until he meets Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert). Danielle is a beautiful, young lady. She soon takes him on the ride of his life. Matthew believes that he has found the girl of his dreams. This is where the fun ends… or is it? His best friend, Eli (Chris Marquette), spoils everything by announcing Danielle’s scandalous secret: she is actually a former porn actress. Matthew finds himself way in over his head, especially when a sketchball producer, Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) steps in the picture. Can Matthew avoid Kelly, be awarded his scholarship, and get Danielle back- and before graduation?

Well... it's happened, folks. We have a new superstar on the way, and his name is Emile Hirsch ("The Emperor's Club") who is excellent in the lead role. In his portrayal, I saw a lot of myself. Matthew is a kid who does not want his high school experience to be a waste. He is at a crucial moment in his life and, while he does have plans for future years, he has no sense of footing or motivation. Hirsch makes the transition from meek bore to confident stud ring true, and he does it brilliantly. This is a protagonist worth rooting for.

Elisha Cuthbert (TV's '24') is a stunning discovery as Danielle. Going into the film, I already knew the general story, but I was worried that her character would come off as one-dimensional and dreary. Cuthbert far exceeds my expectations, and delivers a vibrant and genuine performance. Danielle is a flawed girl who has made some major mistakes in her life. Even when she tries to avoid her past, and find happiness, she finds herself haunted by her previous decisions. In one scene, Danielle makes Matthew are talking in her car, when she unexpectedly makes him strip. Then drives her car away, causing Matthew to run naked through the street. Some may find this sadistic. I think that Danielle instantly realized that this kid was uptight, and she noticed the cry for help when she heard it.

The character of Kelly faces a similar problem as that of Danielle. If not played well, there is the possibility that the he can become flat. Timothy Olyphant ("The Safety of Objects") deserves recognition for making Kelly a funny and likable guy who simply does not like people touching his things (by this, I mean Danielle). Paul Dano (who was terrific in "L.I.E.") and Chris Marquette (TV's 'Joan of Arcadia') effortlessly steal scenes as Matthew's best friends, Klitz (with a 'K') and Eli, respectively. Marquette, in particular, is quite amusing as the highly-strung, aspiring film director. In a very brief role, Julie Osburn (TV's 'Another World') is great as a bank teller who may not be as nice as she seems.

There is nothing more refreshing than a filmmaker ambitious enough to break the mold and come out with a film that is as unpredictable and outrageous as “The Girl Next Door”. In the typical teen film, one can usually tell what will happen as soon as the lights are dimmed. Thankfully, this is not the case. In the wacky screenplay (written by Stuart Blumberg, David Wagner, and Brent Goldberg), the unusual circumstances constantly throw the audience for a loop, and we are taken, along with Matthew, into the frightening world of… porn. There are many surprises along the way, none of which I have the heart to illuminate. I assume say that very seldom will you foresee what’s coming next. What's more is the sweet and authentic romance between Danielle and Matthew. It is obvious that they are meant for one another, but her past seems to prevent that from being possible. The soundtrack is also very well-chosen, featuring tracks by Filter, John Rouse, Youth of Today, and composer Paul Haslinger.

In a genertaion of clichéd teen movies and vapid love stories, one should be grateful that there are some miraculous films out there, waiting for an audience. “The Girl Next Door” certainly is one of them. It is charming, smart, and startlingly frank. The outcome of the ordeal holds a rare, cumulative power. Don't let the obvious nods to "Risky Business" and "American Pie" prevent you from enjoying it. This is one of the best films of the year.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9203&reviewer=394
originally posted: 01/03/05 13:06:19
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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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