April 2004 (v6 i5)
Shirking responsibility since 1997
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The Girl Next Door
by Elizabeth Barksdale, Associate Editor
     First of all, the phrase “girl next door” has always pissed me off. It’s one of those stupid things people use without knowing what the hell they’re talking about. Since when is someone living next door to you sexy or cool? As we all know, neighbors are usually boring, or they’re assholes who play shitty music too loudly or they’re crazy crack-heads with lots of crazy crack-head friends, or they’re all of the above. Except in the magical world of predictable movies where neighbors are generally big walking clichés.

     So in The Girl Next Door there’s this guy Matthew (Emile Hirsch) who’s kind of cute, I guess, if you have the hots for dudes who are supposed to be 18 but look about 12. I myself dig the younger men, but I prefer it when they at least look halfway legal. Hirsch looks sort of like a larval Ashton Kutcher, which is just weird. But anyway, Matthew is your generic high school movie geek, with your two standard-issue geekier, even younger-looking, less attractive sidekicks. Real groundbreaking stuff here from director Luke Greenfield. So Matthew and his buddies watch porn and have wet dreams about high SAT scores, but their boring-ass lives get more exciting when some girl with big boobs (Elisha Cuthbert) moves in next door to him. When Danielle, the generic big-boobed character and Matthew, the generic geek-who’s-not-as-ugly-as-the-other-geeks character, first meet, they rip off some pretty good scenes from American Pie. Don’t worry though — they make these scenes original by cleverly removing any potential laughs. Ms. Supermodel and Mr. Mildly Attractive Jailbait then proceed to fall in love. Awww. How sweet. How innovative. This movie’s screenwriters are total geniuses. I so wanna move in next door to one of them and be their goddamn love slave.

     Everything’s going hunky dory for our young lovers until one of Matthew’s irritating geekwad friends realizes that Danielle is actually — gasp! — a former porn star. Matthew freaks out. His sweet, precious, pure-as-the-driven-snow girl-next-door was taking it in the back door! On film! Oh my goodness, but how is that possible? How could someone so lovely and perfect with such great morals and such big tits ever have been able to be a porn star? At first, Matthew is shocked and disillusioned, the foundations of his secure little world quivering like the Jell-O Danielle probably used to wrestle in.

     Oh boo, hoo, hoo, Matt. So your girlfriend was smart enough to use her great looks to make a few more bucks than she would’ve made catching moonbeams in a jar or planning on joining the convent until your obviously huge, massive … um, sex appeal showed up in her life.

     But Danielle and Matt patch things up more or less, or at least I think they do. By this point my mind was wandering to actual porn flicks that had far cooler plotlines and characters. Like the one with the alien and the farmhouse and the day spa, remember that one? Now that was a movie. Anyway, Matt’s nerd world and his girlfriend’s porn world collide, assorted slime balls from Danielle’s past show up, and hilarity ensues — well, maybe hilarity ensues if you’re a fifteen-year-old who abuses too many inhalants.

     I’d polished off quite a few bottles of Boone’s Farm by the time the credits rolled so don’t take my word for it, but I think in the end Danielle “rediscovers her innocence” due to the fact that she’s regularly banging a nerd. Matt in turn learns he has wild streak — he can take the stick out of his ass and presumably do kinky shit with it.

     Whether either of these characters discover the G-spot or the fact that they’re totally freaking boring is open to viewer interpretation.

     The Girl Next Door has all the implausibility of your average adult film without the nudity and brilliant cheesy dialogue. But it does have pretty ladies. And they have boobs! One of them gets soaking wet, and two of them kiss! If you really need to see this sort of thing and you’re too embarrassed to go to an adult film store, get your sorry ass to the theater. Just don’t be proud of it. Oh, and if anyone remembers the name of that alien porno, let me know. I give The Girl Next Door two pasties and half a thong
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