The Girl Next Door
I don't know what kind of joke director Luke Greenfield thinks he's playing on the world, but if he's trying to stupefy us into submission by showcasing his total incompetence as a director, he may be well on his way to world domination. Frankly, you have to be completely stupid to make a teen sex film about a porn star and then hire an actress who won't even take off her clothes.
Now, I hardly expected anything like a true porn film money shot in this film, but as far as I know, Greenfield hired "24" star Elisha Cuthbert and allowed her to talk him (or the producers or whomever) completely out of the idea of showing her naked. I don't know about you, but if I'm watching some teen sex film about a hot porn star, I kind of expect to see some tits - big, bouncy, sweaty porn star tits. Now, I know that's very immature of me and sexist, but it's a movie about a PORN STAR. If you want clean and wholesome, make a FUCKING MOVIE about FUCKING PLANTS. I will never criticize a director of a fucking movie about fucking plants for not showing me any fucking tits, but in a movie whose main character is a porn star, I think there's a reasonable expectation that she'll be FUCKING NAKED.
This isn't event remotely the worst thing about this movie. It's incompetently written and directed, yet somehow it's currently garnering above a 7 on the IMDB rating system, which means to me that either the teenagers in this country have finally succumbed to the combined stupefying effects of "The Passion of the Christ" and the moral indignation of the Bush administration, or that everyone Luke Greenfield knows in Hollywood has logged on and voted.
I mentioned this in my review of "Against the Ropes" and it applies here too: Any film in which the main character gives a speech that causes people to stand up and applaud sucks balls. It's just an automatic thing. Here, the speech isn't just emotionally flat, it's not even remotely reminiscent of a speech that should be acknowledged in any way. It's almost as if you can see a reflection of the director on screen motioning for everybody to stand up because, well, he's seen the "spontaneous ovation" technique in other movies and is convinced it'll work in this one. One of Greenfield's other neat tricks for evoking emotion is to play a pop tune during every tangentially emotional scene or every 30 seconds, whichever comes first.
Oh, this is a movie review, isn't it? So you're probably wondering about the plot. Well, a porn star named Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) moves in next to geek Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch). He sees her undressing one day and next thing you know they're dating. Then Danielle's manager, Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), shows up and Matthew must save Danielle from the awful world of porn. If this seems vaguely reminiscent of "Risky Business," it is. Greenfield even goes so far as to use some of the same music. However, there's one important difference between the two films. In this one, Elisha Cuthbert is a porn star who is never naked. In "Risky Business," Rebecca DeMornay plays a prostitute who is FUCKING NAKED. Important difference.
Few of the character motivations make much sense. Danielle is not just overly clothed, but severely underwritten. The writers seem to assume that because she's a porn star, she'll just seem interesting automatically. Basic reality is simply ignored. A bank teller blithely gives $25,000 of Matt's money to Kelly and we're just supposed to accept it. However, the thing that really stuck out for me was the use of a rap song blaring the n-word in a film so white-bread that it's a miracle little jars of mayonnaise weren't handed out before the screening.
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