The Girl Next Door

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating: R for strong sexual content, language and some drug/alcohol use. 
Starring:Emille Hersch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant 
Directed By:Luke Greenfield 

Final Grade: 

There is no explaining the mind of a teenage boy to another girl. Trying to explain guys to girls is about as pointless as a girl trying to explain another girls thoughts to a guy. They just don’t make sense. Everything becomes a gibberish, you may hear what they are saying to you yet you have no idea what it means. Well today I am going to try to explain the impossible. I am going to explain the whole teenage boy addiction to porn in a nutshell. You can blame in on hormones if you would like but what it boils down to is girls who know what they want. That’s really what it is. Mix that in with sexual experience, which porn stars have and you have what every teenage boy wants. A girl that will have sex with them and make their decisions for them, so they don’t have to. After all, as a teenager, it’s cool to not care (or so the results of my day to day research at the theater tells me)

In “The Girl Next Door” we meet two characters who are completely the opposite. One a former female porn star who moves in next door and a high school nerd who wants to become accepted by his peers but is so afraid of taking a chance that he never will be. Well the two of them of course hook up (amazingly in this film it is not because of any lost bets or anything of the like) and the girl actually starts to fall for the boy. But when an old friend of hers comes into town, a former producer by the name of Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) the girl next door has to choose between the life she left behind and the life she is creating in the present. It should be an easy choice, but old habits are hard to break and it’s up Matthew to take a chance and show her how he really feels about her.

The makers of the girl next door do a wonderful job with the story. Their film doesn’t rely on big named actors or actresses, or even suprisingly with the context a lot of pointless nudity and gross out sexual humor. The film works because of a great story, some good laughs and great acting by a lot of Lesser knowns. Elisha Cuthbert does a nice job in her former porn star role, and really is a gifted actress. The problem is no one knew it. In fact few people even know who she is. Those who do know her as the high school chick that Luke Wilson wakes up with in Old School and ditzy Kim Bauer in the hit TV show, 24. While her filmography is not limited to that, it isn’t filled with any truly recognizable roles either. Her Male co-star Emile Hersch also suffers from the same problem, he isn’t known but he is amazingly good. Mix that in with a wonderful performance by Timothy Olyphant and you have a great little film in the making.

The director does a nice job of keeping this on the borderline of being anything too tasteless, which is a big feat considering it is a movie about a porn star. In fact the pointless nudity is very limited to only a few scenes. The film relies on a fun story that pokes fun at high school kids and their temperaments, and some strong sexual inuendos. In fact this film follows closely in suit with the original American Pie film, a nicely crafted way of looking at sex in a light hearted sometimes comedic way. Many try their hand at this type of film making, (including the makers of American Pie 2 and 3) but the success rate is not too good.

In the end, if you are a fan of the original American Pie and want a movie that takes something like sex and puts it into a somewhat family friendly movie with wholesome characters, then the Girl Next Door might be for you. 

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