Movie Shark Header

movie shark deblore
Film Critic to the Culver City Observer and over 129 Publications Worldwide including: The Observer, Inc., John Schimmenti, Inc., CCN, Inc., Santa Monica Observer, Inc., Beacon-Times, Inc., Columbus-Register, Inc., and a Host of Others

[This Weeks Reviews]
[Recent Reviews]
[Review Archive]
[Top Ten]
[Film Festivals]
[Coming Soon]
[Studio Links]
[Other Links]
[Contact movie shark deblore]
[Straight To DVD]
[Photo Galleries]
[Golden Globe Awards]

The Girl Next Door


debbie lynn elias

Eighteen year old Matthew Kidman is, okay, let's say it - borderline geek. Tow the line, straight A, over-achiever, boring, no social life. You get the picture. Enter Danielle, his new neighbor. The ideal vision of a Doris Day girl-next -door, Matthew is immediately smitten with Danielle (naturally after he sees her undress in front of her open bedroom window), but thanks to his less than average persona and social skills, has no idea how to approach her or make the first move.

Movie Image
Photo Copyright 20th Century Fox

Somehow nature takes its course and for whatever reason, Danielle finds that she has an attraction to Matthew thus relieving Matthew of his fear and awkwardness at approaching her. Their blossoming friendship turns into love, but soon hits a major stumbling lock when Matthew finds out Danielle is a porn star trying to get out of the business - maybe. Add another wrinkle - Matthew is trying to a scholarship to Georgetown University. Hmm, scandal with a porn star? Is this Georgetown material? Will Danielle choose porn over Matthew? Will Matthew choose Georgetown over the porn star and the greatest relationship and experience of his life?

Yep, we've got all the comedic angles of the sexual teen angst covered here in what is sure to become a classic in the teen genre movies. One of the freshest films since "Risky Business" when a guy named Cruise danced across the screen in his tidy-whities, "Girl Next Door" is fresh, funny and universally appealing thanks to director Luke Greenfield who romanticizes this slice-of-life look at teen romance with heartfelt comedic elan. (Hard to believe this is the same man responsible for Rob Schneider's "The Animal." )

Broken into two distinct segments that are artfully woven tegether, Greenfield spends the first half of the film concentrating on establishing our primary characters, their wishes, hopes, dreams, fears, using not only finger-on-the-pulse dialogue, but physical expression of the characters. Once the relationships are established and love is blooming, Greenfield then turns his attention to character growth and maturity - especially with Matthew. Sadly, the one big shortcoming of the film lies here as Danielle is merely relegated to the background while Matthew takes center stage.

Emile Hirsch steps up the plate as Matthew, giving a performance that shows potential as a next generation John Cusack, downtrodden, Lloyd Dobbler-esque everyman. While he more than capably carries off the sex jokes complete with embarrassment and let's face it, lust filled drooling over the girl next door, Hirsch gives an added dimension to the character that makes him identifiable to some part of each audience member. Elisha Cuthbert, who we first took note of in "Old School" is ideal as Danielle. A real stunner who more than adequately fills the role of a porn star, she has an innocent earthy quality and kindness about her that enables the Danielle-Matthew dynamic to work. Stepping in as Matthew's equally boring and geek-like friends, Eli and Klitz, are Chris Marquette and Paul Dano who never really take center stage but provide requisite buddy support when needed. The real casting coup, however, is Timothy Olyphant as Danielle's producer/boyfriend, Kelly. Sleazy, nasty, and underhanded, Olyphant steals every scene as he oozes nuances of deceit and sleaze at every turn.

Toss in a solid, right on point screenplay by Stuart Blumberg and "Van Wilder" veterans, David T. Wagner and Brent Goldberg and a pitch perfect soundtrack, and you've got a nice, well-rounded, albeit scantily clad, at times raucous, Generation Y classic. It is also worth noting that typically in films such as this, the technical aspects can fall a little short. Not so here given the slick cinematography of Jamie Anderson, not to mention the flowing continuity of Mark Livoisi's editing. Livoisi you may recall was responsible for "Vanilla Sky."

Despite the nudity and sexual hi-jinx, "Girl Next Door" is a creative delight with surprising insight and honesty that will make you laugh, make you smile and most of all, make you feel, all at the same time. And for you not quite total loser guys out there, it will give you the hope that you too, may be lucky enough to snag a porn star as your own girl next door.

Matthew: Emile Hirsch Danielle: Elisha Cuthbert Kelly: Timothy Olyphant Eli: Chris Marquette Klitz: Paul Dano

Directed by Luke Greenfield. Written by Stuart Blumberg, David Wagner and Brent Goldberg. A 20th Century Fox release. Rated R. (110 min)

[Home] [This Weeks Reviews] [Recent Reviews] [Review Archive] [A] [About A Boy] [Adventures of Pluto Nash] [AFTER THE WEDDING] [Against The ropes] [AI Artificial Intelligence] [Alex & Emma] [ALEX RIDER: OPERATION STORMBREAKER] [Alfie] [ALIEN AUTOPSY] [Alien vs Predator] [An American Haunting] [Anchorman] [An Inconvenient Truth] [ANTIBODIES] [An Unfinished Life] [ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES] [B] [Banger Sisters, the] [Batman Begins] [Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell] [Beauty Shop] [Behind Enemy Lines] [Bewitched] [Beyond the Sea] [Big Fat Liar] [Big Dreams Little Tokyo] [Big Fish] [Birth] [Black Dahlia, The] [Black Knight] [Bobby] [Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down] [BREAKING AND ENTERING] [Break Up, The] [Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason] [Bringing Down the House] [BRUCE ALMIGHTY] [Bubble] [BUG] [BUSINESS JOHNSON] [C] [Calendar Girls] [Captain Corelli's Mandolin] [Catch Me If You Can] [Cats & Dogs] [Catwoman] [Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle] [CHARLOTTE’S WEB] [Cheaper by the Dozen] [CHICAGO] [Christmas with the Kranks] [Coffee Date] [Cold Mountain] [Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen] [The Constant Gardner] [The Cooler] [Corky Romano] [Corpse Bride] [The Count of Monte Cristo] [The Country Bears] [Crash] [Cries From Ramah] [Curious George] [COME EARLY MORNING] [CHALK] [CRAZY LOVE] [D] [Daredevil] [Dark Blue] [Darkness Falls] [The Day After Tomorrow] [DAYWATCH] [Dead Girl,The] [Death of Captain Pilecki] [De-Lovely] [DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK,The] [Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star] [Die Another Day] [DIVERGENCE] [Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood] [Doctor Dolittle 2] [Down with Love] [Dreamcatcher] [The Dreamers] [Dukes of Hazzard] [E] [Elf] [Enough] [Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind] [Eulogy] [Evolution] [F] [Fateless] [Find Me Guilty] [Finding Nemo] [Finding Neverland] [Flyboys] [Freaky Friday] [Freddy vs Jason] [FULL GROWN MEN] [Funny Ha Ha] [FUR: AN IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF DIANE ARBUS] [G] [Ghost Ship] [The Girl Next Door] [Girl With a Pearl Earring] [The Great Raid] [The Ground Truth] [The Guardian] [The Good German] [H] [Halloween: Resurrection] [Happy Feet] [Hardball] [Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets] [Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire] [Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban] [Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone] [HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX] [Haunted Mansion, The] [Holes] [Hollywood Homicide] [Hollywoodland] [The Host] [How To Deal] [How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days] [Human Stain] [HOAX, THE] [HOW TO ROB A BANK] [I] [Infamous] [In Memory Of Me] [Invincible] [i Spy] [Ice Harvest] [Ice Princess] [Identity] [Impostor] [Inconvenient Truth, An] [In Good Company] [In the Cut] [In-Laws, The] [Intolerable Cruelty] [J] [Jeepers Creepers] [Jeepers Creepers 2] [Jersey Girl] [Jiminy Glick in La La Wood] [Jurassic Park III] [JUST LIKE THE SON] [Just Married] [JUMP] [K] [King Kong] [L] [Lassie] [The L.A. Riot Spectacular] [Last Rites] [Lake House, The] [Lara Croft: Tomb Raider] [Laws of Attraction] [Legally Blonde] [Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde] [Libertine, The] [Little Manhattan] [Lizzie McGuire Movie, The] [LOOKOUT, The] [Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, The] [LONELY HEARTS] [M] [Moulin Rouge] [MARIE ANTOINETTE] [The Majestic] [Man of the House] [March of the Penguins] [Master and Commander] [The Matador] [Matchstick Men] [Mean Girls] [Men in Black II] [Minority Report] [Miracle] [The Missing] [Monster-in-Law] [Monsters, Inc.] [Moonlight Mile] [The Mothman Prophecies] [Mr. Deeds] [Mrs. Henderson Presents] [Murder by Numbers] [Mystic River] [Miss Potter] [Music and Lyrics] [MEMORIES OF TOMORROW] [N] [The Night Listener] [The Notorious Bettie Page] [National Lampoon's Van Wilder] [National Treasure] [The New Guy] [The New World] [The Notebook] [O] [Oceans Eleven] [One Hour Photo] [Open Range] [The Others] [Over The Hedge] [OPAL DREAM] [Oceans 13] [OWL AND THE SPARROW] [P] [The Pacifier] [The Passion of the Christ] [Pearl Harbor] [PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER] [Phantom of the Opera] [The Pill] [Pirates of the Caribbean] [Planet of The Apes] [Pooh's Heffalump Movie] [Poseidon] [The Princess Diaries] [The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement] [The Punisher] [PREMONITION] [Primer] [PRIDE] [PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END] [Q] [R] [ROCKY BALBOA] [Rat Race] [Red Dragon] [The Ring] [Rock Star] [The Rookie] [The Royal Tenenbaums] [RUGRATS GO WILD!] [Runaway Jury] [RV] [S] [SHREK THE THIRD] [Sixes and the One Eyed King] [SNOW CAKE] [SPIDER-MAN 3] [Straight Into Darkness] [T] [Trust The Man] [That Fall] [TRIPPER, THE] [TOWN THAT WAS,THE] [U] [Undead] [Under the Tuscan Sun] [The United States of Leland] [Uptown Girls] [V] [Van Helsing] [Vanity Fair] [The Village] [W] [Wannabe] [WILD HOGS] [WIZARD OF GORE] [X] [Y] [You Kill Me] [Z] [Zathura] [Top Ten] [Oscars] [2006 Oscar Watch] [2006 Nominees] [2007 Oscar watch] [Meet The Oscars] [2007 Nominees] [BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR & ACTRESS] [BEST PICTURE & BEST DIRECTOR] [Oscar Trivia] [Film Festivals] [2006 Film Festivals] [AFI  2006] [AFI FEST] [October 3 Press] [2006 Lineup] [2006 Jury Panels] [2006 MUST SEE] [LA Film Festival] [George Lucas] [Must See Festival Films!] [LA Film Festival Goes Green for a Day] [Competition Categories] [Narrative Feature Winner - Gretchen] [Last Rites] [The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell] [The Bicycle Film Festival] [Celebrate Two-Wheeled Transportation] [Dances with Films] [Must See Festival Films] [Sixes and the One Eyed King] [2005 Film Festivals] [LA Film Festival] [Final Wrap 2005] [2007 Film Festivals] [INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS] [LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL] [2007 Lineup] [May 23 Press] [Festival Map] [2007 Overview] [Champagne Spy,The] [Town That Was,The] [LAFF SPOTLIGHTS ROMANIAN FILM] [SEVERED WAYS] [BEAUTIFUL ORDINARY,THE] [BILLY THE KID] [SALTY AIR] [RAZZLE DAZZLE] [FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD] [French Films at LAFF] [Spirit of Independence Award] [DANCES WITH FILMS] [The Best Film Fest] [DAMAH FILM FESTIVAL] [Malibu Celebration of film] [May 2007 Press] [Coming Soon] [Studio Links] [Other Links] [Contact movie shark deblore] [WebMaster] [Industry Contact] [Straight To DVD] [Straight Into Darkness] [COME EARLY MORNING] [Trailers] [Photo Galleries] [AFI 2005] [AFI Photo Gallery 2005] [LAFF 2006] [The Movie Shark Collection] [Golden Globe Awards] [Legal]