The Girl Next Door (2004)

Comedy, Drama, Romance
Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Downs, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant
A teenager's dreams come true when a former porn star moves in next door and they fall in love.
The movie borrows heavily from Risky Business, though Hirsch and Cuthbert are appealing leads.
  • 20th Century Fox Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 09 Apr 2004 Released:
  • 24 Aug 2004 DVD Release:
  • $14.5M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Definitely Not Another Teen Movie9/10
In a world wrought with unoriginal and humor-lacking teen movies, The Girl Next Door provides a beacon of light. The director's hardest battle was to insure that although 90% of the cast are teenagers, that this movie should not be labeled as a teen comedy.

The first comparison that should be made between your average Hollywood teen offering and this movie is the humor. Some movies (American Pie 1, Road Trip) are genuinely funny…, but in a slapstick way. The Girl Next Door provides more intelligent jokes (Eli saying that Matthews's motel advances towards Danielle was a little forthcoming, for instance).

Even after this fact is acknowledged, it is still tempting to accuse The Girl Next Door of being a teen movie, but suddenly the thought springs to mind…. "Hang on…; did that movie have a story line?" And the answer is of course "too right it did". The story line revolves around a life changing loss of innocence for: primarily, Matthew and Danielle, and secondarily: Eli and Klits.

Matthew starts the movie in a tether of his scholarship acquirement's, he spends hours studying and speech revising…. enter Danielle, in the space of 2 weeks she turns Matthew from a text book geek, into the king of the school (I refer of course to his control over the jocks on prom night.). Danielle, for all her real world experience, is an emotional black hole. Matthew, in the movie breaks threw this, and Danielle "makes love" for the first time.

Eli, the local porn king, thinks he (sexually) knows it all, however, even the slightest sexual conduct, and he turns and runs (i.e. the porn star asking Eli/Klitz to feel his girlfriends breasts). Klitz, like Matthew, is a text book nerd and lacks any confidence in his appearance, what so ever. With the help of April, he breaks through this, gaining a silent reputation for the prominence of his manhood.

So let's compare these major story lines to some admitted teen movies. American Pie 2: The story line (singular) in this story is to go on vacation and get laid. WOW. Not exactly a feast for the thought. Road Trip: This time round the storyline (singular) is that a guy suddenly realizes that his pen pal is a girl and sets of on a several thousand mile trip to profess his undying love….. Rubbish.

One similarity I am happy to point out between this work and the self-proclaimed teen movies, is that it has an excellent sound track. A few examples of the excellent choices in music would be David Gray's This Years Loving. This song perfectly matched the budding affections of Danielle and Matthew, both while they share their first kiss, and when there have sex for the first time. On a smaller scale Lapdance by NERD, perfectly captures the moment when the new and improved Matthew, strolls into the Prom and officially becomes the Godfather of the school. On the topic of the sound track, I could go on for pages, so ill just stop that now.

The best movie to compare this piece to is Risky Business. You've all seen it I'm sure. The academically perfect Tom Cruise's parents do away for the weekend…. And Cruise erupts. Going wild for the weekend, he dance around the house, pants-less (easily one of the most famous scenes in movie history) and more importantly (from a story line point of view), meets and falls in love with hooker Lana (Rebecca De Mornay). On comparison I preferred The Girl Next Door. The relationship between Hirsh/Cuthbert is far more convincing then that of Cruise/De Mornay, and more importantly, there was no real foundation for the change in Cruises character, whereas Matthew is forced out of his shell by the life-of-fun character of Danielle.

Unfortunately, Risky Business is unshakable from it pillar as one of the best movies ever. But the Girl Next Door deserves to stand right up there beside is it.

If you haven't seen this movie but have read this…. sorry…., but go get the movie anyway, trust me, i didn't talk about, about 90% of the content of this masterpiece. If you have seen it, then I hope you agree with my synopsis.

This movie is worthy of much more recognition then it is currently receiving. And ill bet that the reason is in the first eleven words of this review.
Strange but appealing8/10

The Girl Next Door is just simply an entertaining movie. It's got plenty of flaws - almost every single scene of the second half of the film seems to act as the climax, and then the movie keeps going - but it's also got one of the most appealing casts I've seen in a while. Emile Hirsh (Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Emperor's Club) is the central character Matthew, about to graduate from high school. He's just plain likable. The drop-dead gorgeous Elisha Cuthbert (Kim Bauer on 24, in a very different type of role here) is the title character, Danielle. Matthew's two friends and one of Danielle's associates played by Tim Olyphant are particular standouts in terms of comic relief; the movie is genuinely funny. Funny, a bit silly, and at times honestly sweet, it's an entertaining movie that's harmless and worth seeing.
The juice is definitely worth the squeeze10/10

Here we have a great example of how decent writers, armed with creative juice to spare, can take a well-worn plot and rework it to make it seem fresh. Just when you think you've got the next twist figured out, you're surprised. This happens throughout the movie, making The Girl Next Door one of the most charming, smart and subversive teen comedies I've seen in a long time - beautifully written, perfectly cast, a real pleasure from start to finish.

Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert and Timothy Olyphant shine in their respective roles as the young man at a crossroads in his life, the girl next door of the title, equally confused, and the scuzball with a heart who knows he has to do the right thing even if it goes against his 'business instincts.' These characters are not one-dimensional, thanks to the superb writing, nor are they caricatures; they come across as genuine individuals, and the comedy in the film comes not at their expense but rather organically, as part of their journey. As Olyphant's character asks Hirsch at one point: "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" In this case, it most definitely is.


marketing is deceiving...one of the sweetest movies in years10/10
The Girl Next Door's tagline "Matt didn't see her coming...but all his friends have!" is very deceiving, because the movie is not like that at all. When you see this, you'll expect a raunchy, borderline porn movie, but what you get is a refreshing, adorable, and sweet love story with great performances from Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert.

Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch, The Emperor's Club, Lords of Dogtown) is not a geek by any means. He's your everyday nice guy who's never really 'lived'. He is the top student, the class president, and he's in charge of bringing a teenage super genius to the U.S.A. Everything is going fantastic, because he even gets accepted to Georgetown. Only problem is, he needs the money to get to the school, and this can only be paid by winning a scholarship. A few days before his speech on why he deserves the scholarship, Matt meets Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert, '24', Weezer's 'Perfect Situation video), a breathtakingly beautiful girl who (after a hilarious few scenes where they meet) he instantly falls for, and she falls for him.

For the first part of the movie, you see Danielle, the near unfairly sexy girl, push Matt to limits he hasn't gone to, such as running in the street naked, swimming in a stranger's pool, and skipping school. They're falling in love, and it's easy to see on screen, and it's adorable.

Just when it can't get any better for Matt, things take a turn for the worse. One of his best friends, Eli (the hilarious Chris Marquette), who is a massive porn addict, goes through his collection, and finds a tape...and who is the star? Danielle. Turns out, Danielle had just quit her job as a porn star and decided to turn over a new leaf. After a near tear-jerking scene, Danielle returns to her old career by contacting her old boss, a gritty and suave porn producer named Kelly (Tim Olyphant). It's at this point that Matt decides that he doesn't care about Danielle's past, and he's in love with her. He decides that he'll do anything to get her back, including taking on Kelly, the porn industry, and some very weird people.

After some events, the plot strays away from just Matt and Danielle, and thickens to become a real movie, not just a teen movie. The movie does an excellent job of keeping us interested, because just as the plot becomes serious, Eli and Matt's other friend, Klitz, add some very funny moments and ideas. Yes, the movie does sound like the classic Risky Business, but it does things that separate itself from that movie. The chemistry between Hirsch and Cuthbert is magical, and despite her gigantic sex appeal, the character of Danielle is so lovable for how sweet and caring she is to Matt. There are some great plot twists that keep you interested, not to mention hilarious in jokes and one liners, and not to mention a classic quote: "The juice was worth the squeeze". You'll understand. Tim Olyphant is great in a somewhat opposing role, and veteran actor James Remar makes a few appearances as a porn producing giant. The movie's ending is so great and funny that you can't help but enjoy, not to mention mysterious, keeping you hanging by a thread the whole way through.

Luke Greenfield has directed a movie that is so well liked and cherished, that I have never heard a bad thing against this film (I'm 17, and all my friends, guys and girls, loved it). I own it on DVD, and have watched it at least 10 times. I've finally gotten around to writing a review, because writing this has reminded me of how great this movie is. In a few one word sentences, The Girl Next Door is...fun. hilarious. sweet. lovable. classic. I recommend this movie to anyone from the ages of 13 to 30, because this is the age group it is intended for.
The sweetest R-rated (or 15 certificate) movie in recent memory.5/10

Responsibility for "The Girl Next Door"'s poor performance at the US box office - as well as over here - can be laid firmly at the feet of Twentieth Century Fox's marketing people; the tagline "Matt never saw her coming - but all his friends had!" made it seem like a full-on sex comedy, when it's actually a lot more than that; director Luke Greenfield and writers Stuart Blumberg, David T. Wagner and Brent Goldberg put more emphasis on the characters than the raunch, which makes all the difference. There's more to the movie than the sight of Elisha Cuthbert in a thong (in interviews she revealed that it is indeed her there... if not elsewhere in the movie).

The debt this movie owes to "Risky Business" - starting with the score by ex-Tangerine Dream member Paul Haslinger (Tangerine Dream scored "Risky Business") - is pretty clear; both movies have bright but slightly life-challenged graduate students given to fantasising about things that go wrong as their main characters (step forward Emile Hirsch as the sympathetic hero), both have sex-obsessed best friends, both have women in the sex business as the main female characters who come into the hero's uptight life and help to liberate him, and both have sleazy male bosses (Timothy Olyphant plays the Guido equivalent). The movie also has the same mostly restrained view of its story where other movies would have played up the farce aspects - the only real hi-jinks come when the movie's plot takes in the Adult Film Convention in Las Vegas - but "The Girl Next Door" is a lot more engaging and has a lot more heart than "Risky Business" (good though that movie is, charm is not its strong point), with the title character seen as more of a person than a masturbatory object both by our hero and by the movie. When she goes with a motel with him and starts to play up The Porn Star, you really hope they don't go through with it.

The mood set up in the early stages is so convincing that when Olyphant's porn producer character turns up the movie seems to turn into another one entirely (and if you go to see this because of Elisha's "one for the men" status, I must warn you that she spends alarming amounts of time off-screen); it's still a good one, but it damages the overall movie's tone, and for most of the rest of the movie it veers back and forth between sweet and sleazy... but the amazing thing is that "The Girl Next Door" actually manages to find a happy balance of the two by the time the prom climax arrives (with more echoes of "Risky Business" en route, for sure).

True, there's no actual sex seen and little nudity, but the cast works so well and the movie's so sincere that by the end it doesn't seem like a ripoff. With good use of songs blending with the score, well-done fantasy sequences, and a welcome dose of intelligence in its writing, "The Girl Next Door" is probably the most adorable movie to get an R rating since "Pretty Woman," and well worth seeing even if you don't have a thing for Kim off "24." But this isn't for the "Daily Sport" crowd. Which is their loss.

"The juice was worth the squeeze."