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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2004!
Class President Matt has it all figured out, until the mysterious, gorgeous Danielle moves next door, turning his life upside down.
The plot of The Girl Next Door can be summed up in just one sentence. It is an unofficial remake of the 1980's classic Risky Business, but updated for the modern audience, and the modern, video savvy teenage boy. The characteristics of both films from the actors to the storyline seem to mirror each other so well, that if they were people, Risky Business would be the Father and The Girl Next Door would be the son. Emile Hirsch plays the goody-good Class President Matt, whose sights are set on attending Duke and entering the world of politics. How Noble! All is going on track for Matt, except for the small problem of finding the money to pay for Duke. To make matters more complicated, a new girl moves in next door; she's beautiful, she's intelligent, and....she's an ex-porn star.
Here's the first similarity between The Girl Next Door and Risky Business. Apparently, for high school boys, the perfect girl is either a porn star or a prostitute. In Risky Business, Cruise wants to be a successful businessman; here Hirsch wants to be a politician. It makes you wonder if all businessman and politicians dabbled in the sex trade prior to office or Wall Street. Both films have sex scenes that occur in moving vehicles. You get the idea.
The casting of Emile Hirsch in the role of Matt seems almost serendipitous when you look at the similarities between his career and that of Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise played the straight-lace kid in Risky Business, and Hirsch plays the same here. Tom Cruise played a gang member in The Outsiders, and Hirsch played a gang leader in Alpha Dog. Tom Cruise raced cars in Days of Thunder, and Hirsch rolled into theaters last summer as Speed Racer. Let's face it; if Hirsch goes on to either play a vampire or get an Oscar nomination for playing in a Cameron Crowe film, the transition of Hirsch into the next Tom Cruise will be complete.
Once Matt finds out that his beautiful Danielle was once a porn star, he tries to get over the news of her past. He fails at trying to recreate the perfect place for them to "reenact" a scene from one of her films, but fails, causing Danielle to return to her porn-manager ex-boyfriend, Kelly (Olyphant). Matt follows her to a Las Vegas porn convention, where Kelly encourages Matt to break into the home of rival porn manager Hugo (Remar).
The break-in goes falically wrong, and Matt must make amends with the dangerous Hugo in order to be with Danielle. She ends up leaving with him, but Matt must find a way to make amends with Hugo financially. In the end, Matt wins over Danielle, especially when he takes her to prom. And, as far as porn boss Hugo and finding the money for Duke, Matt comes up with an ingenious video endeavor to solve his problems. A tasteful video that involves Porn Actresses, A guy, and a condom. If for no other reason than to see what film I'm talking about, definitely rent the movie.
The film is directed by Luke Greenfield, who only has a few films to his name, the most notable being the 2001 Rob Schneider The Animal. The film is a successful mingling of porno meets teen flick, largely due to the acting performances and chemistry between Hirsch and Cuthbert. Elisha Cuthbert blends the role of innocent girl and seductive porn star with ease, letting both complicated sides of Danielle's personality come through in a likeable way. Hirsch also is strong in his role, never entering the geek stereotype that often happens when actors play smart teenagers. He plays the role as a strong intellectual, rather than geek video boy.
The film is a fun piece of filmmaking that stays interesting without falling into the trap of becoming overly sexed-up. It will definitely send you away with a good feeling and maybe the new habit of googling every new girl you meet...just in case.