The Girl Next Door (2004)

the-girl-next-doorI actually liked this movie. It won’t win awards, and I will not spend any money on it, but for a good time I suggest you check this out. If you’re a guy. Usually the casting of a hot girl to distract me never works, but here, looking at Elisha Cuthbert, I just couldn’t help but dismiss the flaws. And there were plenty of flaws. Elisha Cuthbert is really hot. She has this amazing face and unbelievable body, she’s just not human, and that was the saving grace for me with this movie. Watching her parade herself back and forth was amazing and she won me over completely. And then there’s Timothy Olyphant who plays sleazy porno director Kelly, who proves to be quite an obstacle and nemesis for Hirsch’s character. Olyphant is entertainingly over the top in this film, with all the usual clichés with spiky hair, a menacing grim, and sleaze galore.

The movie is also helped further by the good performances from Chris Marquette and Paul Dano, both of whom are very funny. They have personalities, and they become fun to watch as they watch in awe as their friend canoodles with porn stars and the ungodly hotness of Cuthbert. I laughed pretty hard in certain sequences that were ridiculous, from the porn convention right down to when Hirsch’s character is slipped ecstasy and begins getting high during an important speech. That sequence was hilarious and succeeded in what it was blatantly trying to accomplish. The film does have these ridiculous scenes like when the girl is asking to be in a porn movie, but they were so ridiculous, I couldn’t help laughing. That said, I just couldn’t bear how much of an utter rip-off this is of “Risky Business”. From the plot, to the characters right down to the ending. It’s all just so damn contrived and ripped from the former Tom Cruise vehicle. Think about it, young unpopular man with the possibility of making it big in a corporation in high school is unsure of his life and his future, has two unpopular friends, and inept parents living life as a yuppie.

He is seduced by a voluptuous beautiful blonde woman with a shady past and profession, and he tries to keep up with her as she gets him in to all sorts of trouble, and meets her associate who, while seemingly nice, is a very dangerous sleaze ball, gets himself in hot water having to pay off money to the dangerous associate, has a certain time to pay it off, all the while must tackle getting in to the college of his dreams, the two main characters have a relationship in the end and have sex in a moving vehicle to music without audio between the two, and even the theme music is the same. I swear at one point I heard theme music similar to that of Tangerine Dream. “The Girl Next Door” also suffers from, what I call, two movie syndrome in which one half of a movie is different from the second half and oh boy is the first and second half of this completely different, in fact they felt like different movies or sequels combined. The plot at the first half where he’s trying to win her over feels like it was the original plot, and the rest of the crap afterwards is just nothing but filler, and a really long conclusion that draws out twenty minutes too long.

The story rushes the romance of Hirsch and Cuthbert’s characters along really quickly and doesn’t know how to even out the sub-plots within the movie and instead just has two different halves of one movie. Their romance is so forced, so artificial, and so uninteresting and it’s a ridiculous premise that never takes time for set-up to be believable, and just ends up being ridiculous. He has to earn a lot of money to bring in some foreign exchange student so he makes a movie in the school? Where are the security guards? You figure in a prom there’d be some good security to watch things, but there isn’t. This is one of those so bad it’s good films that will surely become a cult classic five years from now for being so utterly mindless and ridiculous. I definitely had a good time with it, and garnered some hefty laughter, despite its derivations. Beyond that, the few saving graces are the gorgeous Elisha Cuthbert and the fun bad guy turn by Timothy Olyphant.