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THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

BY BROOKE HOLGERSON

Every guy I know wanted to come to this screening with me. They claimed — somewhat defensively — that it was the Risky Business of the new millennium. They don’t know how right they were. Emile Hirsch stars as an overachieving high-school senior who falls head over heels for the girl who moves in next door (Elisha Cuthbert from 24), until he finds out she’s a porn star. Needless to say, that only briefly dampens the flame of his love. A fairly ludicrous plot develops, with Timothy Olyphant as a smoothly scary porn producer trying to lure Cuthbert back into the biz. Director Luke Greenfield pays homage to his source material with a few cute references — Hirsch doesn’t dance around in his underwear, but he does get to take out the trash à la Tom Cruise. Like Cruise, Hirsch is too cute to be a convincing dork, but his straight-arrow sweetness is offset nicely by Cuthbert’s slightly trashy sex appeal. But for all of its talk about sex, The Girl Next Door is really as sweet as its title suggests. Hirsch and his buddies may want to hang with porn stars, but they remain true to their nerdy roots when it counts. My guy friends were disappointed to hear that I liked this movie — a sure sign that it wasn’t dirty enough. (110 minutes)


Issue Date: April 9 - 15, 2004
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