By: The Dweeb
I wasn’t expecting much from this film as I hit the play button on my remote, most likely a silly little comedy with a few laughs here and there I thought. Boy, was I wrong about that. Girl Next Door turned out to be highly entertaining and gave me that nostalgic feeling from the days of living as a wild teenager roaming the streets at night looking for trouble. Well, OK maybe not that last part, but I did enjoy watching this reinterpretation of Risky Business mixed in with a little bit of American Pie. A movie that can charm you and be raunchy at the same time, imagine that!
It’s labeled as a comedy, and rightly so, but Girl Next Door exhibits more shades of a Romantic comedy than a teen farce. What makes the film work is a strong script filled with complex characters and a plot that keeps you guessing. You think the film is going in one direction and then it turns on a dime in another. This is not something you would expect from this type of film. Oh yeah, and it manages to be pretty funny while doing so. My favorite scene is when they are in the strip club and Matthew runs into his dad’s buddy.
The cast for this film are all relatively unknown, so it doesn’t become saddled with big egos. Everyone pulled in a great job in their respective roles, convincing me that I really liked these people. When actors manage to make the audience feel for the characters that’s always a plus in my book. I became very emotionally attached with the two main characters Matthew (Emile Hirsch) and Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), I wanted to see him get the girl in the end. To see Danielle give him the kick in the pants that he needed makes for a great ride.
Most of the cast was good, but the stand out performance was by Timothy Olyphant who played Kelley, the small time porno producer who ‘owns’ Danielle. You don’t what to make of him throughout the movie. Is he the bad guy? Or is he more of a mentor to the kids? He really keeps you guessing. One minute he is the cool dude, trying to charm the girls and the next minute he’s in a rage and gives the smack down on Matthew. Turns out that he is the bad guy, sort of. In either case he was pretty damn good.
Although this movie officially had an R designation, I didn’t think it was that bad. Yeah, the subject matter dealt with pornography, but you don’t see too much of it. Actually, you see more of Emile’s butt more than anything else, so this movie is rather tame. Seemed like it could have been PG-13, that is the target audience at least. This unrated edition doesn’t seem any more ‘scandalous’ than the theatrical either, but I haven’t seen the original so I can’t really compare them.
Along with the wonderful visuals (hint hint), there’s a great soundtrack also which keeps this movie rocking. Its a mix of old and new music of various genres that sounds really good on this DVD. Plenty of extra material abounds in this feature rich first edition of the movie. The funniest portion has to be “The Eli Experience”. The fact they even pulled this off and got everyone’s permission to make it public is unbelievable. The rest is all standard material but do look for the cookie on this one, it’s worth it. The only negative aspect to this DVD is that it’s a flipper. Couldn’t this fit on one side? Aside from that little annoyance the rest surely makes up for it. The Girl Next Door is probably going to be one of the funnier comedies from this year, not like those other ones lately.