The Girl Next Door

      The Girl Next Door

      The Girl Next Door
      Archived Review

      Back in the 80's I rented the movie Weird Science and fell in love with it's female lead. Sure as the character Jay from Dogma and Clerks saids, it was a PG 13 movie and so you could not see any real nudity, but when you're young you tend to have a lot of imagination. Lately, movies like American Pie have tried to bring back the teen movie and female nudity, and while I've appreciated their efforts, I've also noticed the abundant failures as well. The Girl Next Door is closer to Weird Science, than it is to American Pie, and perhaps it is a better film because of it.

      The story is pretty simple, a smart guy in high school (Matthew) finds himself bored at the end of his high school career, when a hot chick (Danielle) moves in next door who just happens to be a couple of years older than him. She catches him spying on her when she is undressing and goes next door to teach him a lesson. This leads to a romance and the two find themselves flirting around town for the next few days, that is until of course he learns the truth about the girl next door, and that's when the story starts getting interesting.

      Matthew has two friends, Eli who is your typical friend in high school who was a chronic masterbator and consumer of adult material, and Kluttz, who is a bit nerdy looking but who is probably the coolest guy you know once you get out of high school. It is Eli who shows Matthew a tape of Danielle's actual adult star performance. This leads to Matthew messing things up badly with Danielle, and from there the romance ends, and the love story begins.

      The most interesting character though is Kelly. A cool and hip guy who makes cheap adult films and who is for all purposes, Danielle's agent in the world of adult entertainment. He enters at the right time to persuade Danielle to come back to the life of video starlet and it is up to Matthew to help deter this from happening. Everything about Kelly is the opposite of Matthew. Kelly is confident, he is smooth with people in general and never hesitates to get what he wants out of them. It is Kelly who helps Matthew get his first lap dance, and into loads of trouble. But it is also Kelly who shows Matthew what being a man is all about, because unlike Matthew who tries to avoid conflict, like with the cool jocks at his school, Kelly meets the situation head on and even looks for it.

      Eventually Matthew's life is totally ruined by Danielle and Kelly, but he manages to get inspiration and resolve the problems by making a film with Eli, Kluttz, and two of Danielle's girl-friends.

      Along the way there are some funny moments, but nothing like American Pie. Eli's lines brought me back to my high school days, when boys often say things like: "Jesus, I wanna bone hot chicks!" and then there is Kelly's classic advice: "You have to know if the juice is worth the squeeze".

      As for Elisha Cuthbert who plays Danielle, well let me just say that she is the new Weird Science girl, but without the accent. She totally made me forget about Kirsten Dunst! Although there is no nudity, there are plenty of wet t-shirt scenes and other nuances to keep you entertained. Like I said, this movie is for teenager's imagination.

      I have to also mention the soundtrack for this movie is phenominal! Unlike the crappy 90's boy rock/pop that you hear in other teen movies today, this soundtrack devotes itself entirely to classic and memorable music. You'll catch hints of great 70's and 80's music, most of which is not gay, meaning this is rock music from the time when bands only made one ballet on their albums, and yes they were really albums! The soundtrack hits perfectly, never sounding silly or stupidly over the top, just right and just enough to highlight the mood and make you get into the story even more. Now that's what a soundtrack is suppose to do!

      There are currently two versions of this film on DVD. An unrated version has more footage but does not include any nudity either, but if you are going to choose one DVD, the unrated version will probably be the best buy.

      Overall The Girl Next Door is an unexpectedly good film. If you remember high school at all or perhaps are in it now, then you should enjoy this film.