The Girl Next Door (2004 film)

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The Girl Next Door

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuke Greenfield
Produced byCharles Gordon
Harry Gittes
Marc Sternberg
Screenplay byStuart Blumberg
David T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
Story byDavid T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
StarringEmile Hirsch
Elisha Cuthbert
Timothy Olyphant
Chris Marquette
Paul Dano
James Remar
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyJamie Anderson
Editing byMark Livolsi
StudioRegency Enterprises
New Regency
Daybreak
Epsilon Motion Pictures
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)February 18, 2004 (2004-02-18)
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$30,411,183[2]
 
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The Girl Next Door

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuke Greenfield
Produced byCharles Gordon
Harry Gittes
Marc Sternberg
Screenplay byStuart Blumberg
David T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
Story byDavid T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
StarringEmile Hirsch
Elisha Cuthbert
Timothy Olyphant
Chris Marquette
Paul Dano
James Remar
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyJamie Anderson
Editing byMark Livolsi
StudioRegency Enterprises
New Regency
Daybreak
Epsilon Motion Pictures
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)February 18, 2004 (2004-02-18)
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$30,411,183[2]

The Girl Next Door is a 2004 American teen film starring Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, and Timothy Olyphant, directed by Luke Greenfield, about an honor student who falls in love for the first time with the girl next door, but finds the situation becoming complicated after he learns that she is a former porn star.

Contents

Plot

Ambitious Westport High School senior Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) dreams of a career in politics. He has been accepted to the prestigious Georgetown University, but will only be able to afford it if he can win a large scholarship. With graduation approaching, he struggles to find anything truly memorable about his high school experience which is quite hard due to his social status. However, his luck changes when he meets his beautiful next door neighbor Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert). The outlandish Danielle and the steady Matthew each turn out to be the perfect complement for the other, and they are immediately smitten with one another. However, the relationship is challenged when Matthew discovers through his porn-enthusiast friend, Eli (Chris Marquette), that Danielle recently was an adult film actress under the stage name "Athena".

Following Eli's advice on how to deal with this incredible revelation, Matthew takes Danielle to a sleazy motel. Danielle guesses that Matthew has discovered her past and punishes him by performing a striptease and offering herself to him. When Matthew becomes distressed and asks why she is degrading herself, Danielle 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-colleague (and ex-boyfriend), a porn producer named Kelly (Timothy Olyphant).

Matthew, riddled with guilt, follows Danielle to Las Vegas to find her at an adult film convention where Kelly menacingly warns Matthew not to interfere with his business. When Matthew convinces Danielle not to rejoin the industry, Kelly abducts Matthew from school and physically assaults him, saying that Danielle's failure to arrive on set has cost him $30,000. Kelly offers to let Matthew erase the debt by breaking into rival producer Hugo Posh (James Remar)'s home to steal an award statuette, but after Matthew has entered the house Kelly quietly calls in a robbery report and leaves the premises. Caught by Posh, Matthew narrowly avoids the police and rushes to his scholarship award dinner. Accidentally high on ecstasy that Kelly had told him was aspirin, he improvises a deeply sentimental speech but loses out on the scholarship—to a student who strongly resembles the passionless, pre-Danielle version of Matthew.

Kelly gets his money back by stealing the $25,000 Matthew raised to bring Samnang, a brilliant Cambodian student, to study in the United States. Not wanting to explain his connections to the adult film industry, Matthew had previously introduced Kelly to the bank staff as his student advisor. Although Matthew has not committed a crime, he still fears that he will face expulsion or criminal charges for his unwitting role in the fraud, and he reluctantly turns to Danielle for help. Danielle calls in a few friends from her days as a porn star, and they agree to make a video for Hugo Posh on prom night, on school grounds, and using Matthew's classmates as actors. After the successful shoot, and after Eli has been dropped off with the tape's master copy, Danielle and Matthew have sex for the first time in their limousine. Despite Danielle's past, it is the first time she has truly made love, and the moment is tender and significant for each of them.

The next morning Matthew is shocked to find Kelly, holding the tape he has stolen from Eli's home, seated with his parents and school principal at the dining room table. Kelly asks to speak privately with Matthew and says that unless he is given half of all profits, he will play the tape immediately. Matthew, following Danielle's repeated advice to "just go with it", refuses because the money he will earn for the tape rightfully belongs to Samnang. Kelly repeats his threat, but Matthew stands up for himself and dares him to show the tape, stating that he no longer cares about his now-ruined future. As the tape begins to play, it becomes clear that Matthew and his friends have made a progressive, comprehensive sex education tape rather than a pornographic film. Matthew's parents both approve, and although the principal finds it atrocious, he realizes it's the best way to reach teenagers about such an important topic. With no more cards left to play, Kelly finally and grudgingly admits defeat but smiles at Matthew's initiative.

Hugo Posh and Matthew make millions from the video. Hugo Posh keeps his word and pays for Samnang to come to the USA, while Matthew has enough money to attend Georgetown and take Danielle to DC with him. Matthew sends Kelly a box of Cuban cigars, which he happily accepts. The final scene shows Matthew driving into Georgetown University in a BMW Z4. Matthew's story ends with him getting the girl of his dreams and a chance at the future he has always wanted.

Cast

Reception

The film opened on 2,148 screens and grossed $6 million during its opening weekend. It took in a $30.4 million worldwide total.[2]

Critical reaction

The movie received generally mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes ranking it with 55% positive reviews.[3] Criticism came especially from conservative film critic Michael Medved, for its stereotypically glamorous portrayal of porn stars, particularly female porn stars.[citation needed] Roger Ebert described it as a "nasty piece of business", and faulted movie studios for marketing the film as a teen comedy.[4]

Awards

The film was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards including Best Kiss and Breakthrough Female performance for Elisha Cuthbert. It was also nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for Best DVD Extra —mainly for the commentary, as well as a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Your Parents Didn't Want You to See.[5]

Soundtrack listing

References

External links