The Girl Next Door

Wonderful teenage movie, made in 2004 by Luke Greenfield (nothing quite memorable to this one), after a screenplay by Stuart Blumberg (Thanks for Sharing and The Kids Are All Right, both after this one), David Wagner (Van Wilder), and Brent Goldberg (Van Wilder and Saving Ryan’s Privates – I liked the title of this last one, otherwise, I never heard of it as a movie).

Elisha Cuthbert

The Girl Next Door – Elisha Cuthbert

[all pics otherwise differently credited, are from imdb]

Ambitious High School senior Matthew (Emile Hirsch), dreams of a career in politics. He has been accepted to Georgetown University, but will only be able to afford it if he can win a large scholarship by proving he had a truly memorable high school experience. However, his luck changes when he meets his next door neighbor Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert). Danielle and Matthew each turn out to be the perfect complement for the other, and they are immediately smitten with one another. The relationship is challenged when Matthew discovers through his friend Eli (Chris Marquette) that Danielle was actually an adult film actress.

Elisha Cuthbert as Danielle

Danielle at the motel


Following Eli’s advice, Matthew takes Danielle to a motel, where Danielle guesses that Matthew has discovered her past and punishes him by performing a striptease and offering herself to him. Here, she calls him out on his base intentions and abruptly ends the relationship. Matthew goes to Danielle’s house the following day and attempts to reconcile with her, but learns that she is returning to the porn industry, and is leaving for Las Vegas with her ex-boyfriend, adult movie producer Kelly (Timothy Olyphant). And the adventure begin. Other characters play as well, and they all contribute to the movie success, a 6.8 imdb rate: Paul Dano (as Klutz), Amanda Swisten (as April), Sung Hi Lee (as Ferrari), Olivia Wilde, James Remar (as Hugo Posh, another porn movie producer), even Ulysses Lee (as Samnang, a name nobody seems able to pronounce). I loved it, hence the reason I’m reviewing it now.

Group Picture with Paul Dano, Amanda Swisten, Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsh, Sung Hi Lee and Chris Marquette

Group Picture with Paul Dano, Amanda Swisten, Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsh, Sung Hi Lee and Chris Marquette

Relevant for the movie, but I’m not spoiling more, you have to see it by yourselves. Forgot to tell you something about this Kelly, played by Oliphant. He has some remarkable figures in this movie, impressive psychological figures. He’s like a chess player. Not relevant was Altucher’s real life friend, former pornstar Steven St. Croix (now turned painter, living in France), in his cameo, where Matthew saw Danielle acting in the adult movie.

I think this is the official trailer. I haven’t seen the uncut version, with the poster here, below.

The Girl Next Door - poster

The Girl Next Door – poster

Entertaining. 108′. Released at 9 April 2004. Hirsh attracted Sean Penn’s attention and starred in Into the Wild, in 2007. Also a short apparition in Taking Woodstock, another great movie. I saw Elisha Cuthbert in the alienating 24 TV series, as Kim Bauer, Agent Bauer’s daughter (the allegedly dispensable agent Bauer, played to Emmy by Kiefer Sutherland) and in a very sensitive and moving role, in My Sassy Girl. Great talent. The real emerging star here, seems to be Dano, who acted in at least two Oscar Best Movie nominations, Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood, and some others as well (Taking Woodstock, Fast Food Nation, Knight and Day, Looper). That’s all for now, dear friends, let me know if you liked the movie, and visit me here more often.

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Copyright © 2012 Rodolfo Grimaldi Blog – The Girl Next Door

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