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Wonky Teen Gets Laid, Saves Wet-Dream Siren From Porno Nightmare

Auto erotic: Cuthbert is The Girl Next Door.
photo: Peter Iovino

The Girl Next Door begins with the same deathless question that has bedeviled generations of teenagers: how to fill the space allotted to graduating seniors for memories and shout-outs at the back of their yearbook? While yesterday's young men of tomorrow may have turned to auto-obsolete inside jokes and Phish lyrics, Luke Greenfield's first feature not starring Rob Schneider connects the dots between a thicker maze of reference points. Georgetown-bound student council president Matthew (Emile Hirsch), anxiously bereft of boxable nostalgia, needs to ditch his virginity and get some wild times fast (cf. American Pie). Like a strapping plumber at a bored housewife's door, pornoriffic platinum blonde Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), a former adult-film performer seeking immediate career change, arrives in slo-mo scored to "The Killing Moon" (cf. Donnie Darko) and undresses in front of a well-placed window (cf. There's Something About Mary, American Beauty, et al.). When he's caught peeking, Matthew atones with a naked trot through the neighborhood (cf. Old School) that gives a running start to their budding romance. When porn threatens to suck Danielle back into the blue, smitten Matthew presents her with one of her own drawings (cf. The Office Christmas special!) and sounds a declaration: "I know who you really are and you're better than this," i.e., even better than my ultimate jerk-off fantasy, in which you are a slut. But Matthew's redemptive mission (also entailing a Cambodian exchange student—don't ask) irritates Danielle's hair-trigger producer pimp (cf. Risky Business), played by Timothy Olyphant in charis-manic pusher mode (cf. Go).

Of course, once Danielle has awakened Matthew's inner party animal, the girl next door becomes a mere bystander to her neighbor's various wacky rescue ops, though she delivers the film's best sight gag: As Danielle pops the spunky little guy's cherry in the prom limo, she does the dewy, stricken, really-I'm-not-faking-it orgasm face-scrunch that makes all the boys' wet dreams come true.


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