Back Shelf Beauties
by Willie Waffle

The Girl Next Door

Elisha Cuthbert is a hot babe. I have to get that out of my system so I can write the rest of the review. Sadly, it's the last good thing I have to say.

Emile Hirsch stars as Matthew - a hard working high school senior with an invitation to Georgetown University. He is ready to go, but needs to find the money to pay for tuition, so he has entered a local public speaking contest that will provide the scholarship he needs to make his dream come true. However, his real dream comes true when the amazingly beautiful Danielle (Elisha "did I mention she's a babe?" Cuthbert) moves in next door, and he falls in love with her (who wouldn't?). Just as things seem to be going well, Matthew finds out that Danielle is a porn star in hiding.

Can Matthew handle Danielle's big secret? Will true love prevail?

That would have been enough to make a movie, but director Luke Greenfield and writers Stuart Blumberg, David Wagner, and Brent Goldberg try to do too much, which leads to problems with the movie's tone. Is this supposed to be a teen romance? A comedic teen romp? Sadly, this movie becomes a disaster as the group attempts to throw in plot twists, which lead to extreme peril for our leads. All of the sudden, Matthew is caught up in a horribly dangerous feud with Danielle's movie producer, Kelly (Timothy Olyphant, who is a dead ringer for Ryan Seacrest), and a porn king, Hugo Posh (James Remar). What was a light-hearted romp suddenly becomes dark and mean for no good reason. This hurts the movie, but also takes away its best asset, Elisha Cuthbert.

Cuthbert is wonderful in the little bit she gets in this movie. She embodies every man's fantasy girl next door and gives Danielle some spunk as a sexy, mischievous gal with heart. She makes every man in the audience fall in love with her as the relationship between Danielle and Matthew grows in typical movie fashion, but will break your heart with her reaction when Matthew discovers her secret.

Up to this point, The Girl Next Door is a passable movie, but it falls off the cliff with the introduction of the porn producers and Matthew's wild scheme, which I will save you from today. Let's just say that the movie becomes too dark and violent for the established tone. This sudden change overpowers any comedy that they attempt, and leads to Greenfield trying to wrap up too many loose ends at the end of the film.

The Girl Next Door is a good movie poster to own, but not a good ticket to buy.

½ Waffle (Out Of 4)

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