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The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door
Actors: Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Downs, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant, James Remar
Director: Luke Greenfield
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     2004     1hr 48min

Eighteen-year-old Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) is a straight-laced overachiever who has never really lived life - until he falls for his hot new neighbor (Elisha Cuthbert). When Matthew discovers his perfect "girl next do...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Downs, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant, James Remar
Director: Luke Greenfield
Creators: Arnon Milchan, Charles Gordon, Guy Riedel, Harry Gittes, Brent Goldberg, David Wagner, Stuart Blumberg
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/24/2004
Original Release Date: 03/27/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 03/27/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 7
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Saw a review copy - loved this entertaining comedy drama
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 08/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There is a point in "The Girl Next Door - Unrated Edition' (which I received and promptly devoured, extra's and all, in one sitting) where the movie is in danger of changing in tone and focus from American Pie to Showgirls, but luckily for the movie - and viewers it recovers itself and ends in a definite teen comedy spirit.

I never saw this movie in the theater so I cannot comment on what has been added to this "unrated edition" but there is certainly quite a lot of nudity, but nothing involving the main actors. There are some graphoc scenes at a strip club (including lap dancing) and we get shots of one of the main actors watching a porn video at home. There are some nude scenes from behind of both principal actors Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert, but as Hirsch points out on Side B of the disc (where most of the extras are located) the movie used a stand-in for those shots.

I have a word of caution regarding the list of extra's on the Amazon page. One is titled a scebne specific commentary bu Hirsch and Cuthbert. What we have here though is not a commentary for the whole movie from the two stars, but rather several scenes on the flip side of the disc in which the two actors both give separate commentary.

Largely (and unjustly) ignored at the box office this teen comedy starts of really well and within the first few moments had me rolling with laughter. The movie starts with a montage of sorts, we see the jocks, brains and cheerleader-types all stating, for their entry in the yearbook, what they "will always remember."

Then there is Matt (played by Hirsch) who is pondering this question. Sure, he has had a successful academic career - as illustrated by his acceptance to Georgetown - but he really hasn't done anything memorable in his senior year of high school.

That's about to change for Matt though with the arrival next door of Danielle (played by Cuthbert), who mplays a breathtaking beauty house sitting for his neighbors.

Entranced by her Matt is unable to stop himself from watching Danielle undress in the window opposite his bedroom - but he is spotted. From that moment he is on a rollercoaster ride. Danielle, amused and evidently attracted to Matt, shows him the excitement of living on the edge, from running naked through the streets to moonlight skinny dipping in his school principal's pool.

Just as everything seems to be going so well between Matt and Danielle, Matt is shocked when one of his best friends Eli (who is a connoisseur of porn movies and full of in-experienced sex advice) shows one of his porn movies - in which Danielle is the main star.

Foolishly following some of his friends advice, the two part company and moments later the movie changes tack and takes on a decidedly darker and more serious tone as Matt becomes sucked into the shadowy world of the pornographic movie industry. Initially charming and friendly towards Matt, Danielle's producer and one-time boyfriend Kelly (played well by Timothy Olyphant) turns violent and antagonistic towards the youth who has his mind set on getting Danielle out of the industry.

This all comes to boiling point when the sleazy producer drugs Matt and sets him up for a robbery.

What follows is both inventive and highly amusing. How will Matt afford to get into Georgetown? What will become of Danielle? These are just some of the questions in this entertaining movie that borrows heavily and liberally from a number of the John Hughes movies of the 1980s and the AMERICAN PIE movies of more recent years. The movie ends on a high note in a conclusion that is both satisfying and enjoyable.

Now onto the part that most readers of this review are more interested in - the extra's. On Side A of the disc we have an okay director's commentary from director Luke Greenfield and an at times amusing and at other times fascinating trivia track.

Then on Side B of the disc we have the aforementioned seven to eight scene specific commentaries from Hirsch and Cuthbert (Hirsch curiously has one more) and deleted and extended scenes with optional directors commentary. None of these scenes are of any particular value to anyone but completists or fans of the movie. They add nothing to the feature, but do have a curiosity factor to them. They also chose the better of the two endings also.

Of more interest is an amusing featurette in which actor Chris Marquette (who plays Eli in the movie) poses as a porn producer and lures in all too interested men (there'e a cute blonde on the bed afterall) who get decidedly less interested (for the most part) when the girl is replaced by a big burly guy.

We are also offered a stills gallery and a VERY short gag reel as well as trailers for a couple of other like minded movies in addition to one promotional trailer for several other Fox titles. There is also a trailer for THE GIRL NEXT DOOR with the subtitle `Dirrrty,' which in reality isn't really that much of a big deal.

All in all, this is a good and entertaining movie, it seems to lose its footing half way through but successfully and engagingly returns to top form before the final credits roll. This is a definite must-buy for fans of the movie and the genre and certainly great entertainment"
So, is it better in Blu-ray?
Daniel Mendoza Villa | At the moment Madrid Spain | 09/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The honest answer is no.
And that is extensive to the unrated version of the movie.
Why? Ok let me se...

For a movie that is only 5 or 6 years old, the transfer shouldn't look older than it does. The transfer is just a modest upgrade of the less-than-reference quality picture included on the original DVD.

Too much noise/grain and inconsistent color levels are the main offenders here, with the occasional edge enhancement creeping in as well. Night time and indoor scenes have the most issues, but our first reveal of Cuthbert in a wet, white shirt looks near-perfect, picture-wise. Colors are mostly set to a permanent dull hue, and in some instances are muddy, which is surprising given the quality of most Fox offerings. Trust me, this isn't blu-ray quality.

So if you have the DVD version of it, stick to it and don't change it for the Blu-ray version, you can even find a DVD unrated adaptation of it, plus you won't loose money on it!

As for the extras and unrated part:

The 16 Deleted or Extended Scenes are definitely worth watching. You have a play all option with commentary from director Greenfield. One scene featured actress Amanda Swinton losing it when she had to put a condom on Klitz, who wore a fencing mask to do the scene. She struggles to keep a straight face and loses it at the end. Most were cut for pacing purposes, which is a shame, because a lot of these scenes had moments of genuine emotion that really humanized the movie. We also get the original ending that - get this - Greenfield cut because people at the test screenings thought Matthew was in the White House when he's standing in front of the Capitol Building...anyways...

The movie's first trip on Blu comes with most of the bonus content present on the unrated SD release.

* Audio Commentary by Luke Greenfield
* Scene Specific Commentary by Emile Hirsch
* Scene Specific Commentary by Elisha Cuthbert
* "The Eli Experience" Featurette
* "A Look Next Door" Making-Of Featurette
* Gag Reel
* Deleted and Extended Scenes (Including the Original Ending)
* Theatrical Trailer, "Dirty" Edition

The only extra missing from the previous SD release is the Pop-Up trivia track, but viewers aren't missing much. The stand-outs here are the director's commentary and "The Eli Experience" featurette. The unrated version is nine minutes longer, but they are nine minutes that do nothing for the movie but increase its running time, and pad it out with an extra few seconds of nudity. So for you people, that means the disc gets the DVD equivalent to a Cable Ace award.

"The Eli Experience" is a riot. Chris Marquette, who plays Eli, goes to the Adult Industry Expo, held during CES, and mingles with the porn stars. In a Howard Stern moment, hulking ex-pro wrestler Matt 'Horshu' Wiese walks up to men at the expo asking them if they want to make out with him. Man this has to be seen!

As for "A Look Next Door" is a standard making-of EPK, and the Gag Reel runs three minutes long as features many on-set screw ups. It's funnier than most gag reels, but it's not worth a repeat viewing.

The movie isn't awful, but you would think the Blu-ray version is better than it really is. The direction is component, but unremarkable, the performances are fun but not unified, and the Blu is one of the weakest catalog titles Fox has released on the format so far. Watch the movie; it's acceptable rainy day entertainment. But don't trade in your DVD for the supreme BD experience, because it is not there. Ironically, most of us wouldn't have seen the movie in the first place if they didn't agree to casting Elisha Cuthbert.

CLINT BRONSON | las vegas,NV. | 02/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My Amazon friends have been gloating about this for some time
so I finally took out the cash and bought it. It starts off
in present time (2008) which made me think was this a commercial
I fast forward the first minute until I realize that it was indeed
the movie. Flash back to 1958 where we have a 12 year old boy
catching crayfish is introduced to a 16 year old girl Meg.
She is pretty and kind but seems a little sad. Why she is sad
you will have to watch for what this poor girl and her younger
sister went through will break your heart! I have seen TONS
of HORROR and drama movies but not made me feel like this one
angry,hopeless and scared for poor Meg has a SICK TWISTED aunt
named Ruth(played very well by Blanche Baker...I wanted to smash
her face in) who does and has her boys do everything imaginably
AND THAN SOME!!!! To this poor girl Meg. To tell the truth
I was happy for Meg in the end.... This movie is gripping
and worth every penny of the $23.98(OUCH!)I spent.
See this movie for you will not come out of it the same
ever again."
Fall For the Girl Next Door...
Justice0309 | Joplin, MO USA | 07/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Teen comedies always turn up big business at the box office, this is generally due to the fact that the creative forces behind these movies include plenty of crude humor, sex, and nudity as can be allowed under the MPAA ratings system. Most of the time these teen comedies are a dime-a-dozen, opening big and fading shortly thereafter, with little lasting appeal with audiences. However, there have been some successes in the genre that have had more staying power than others, examples would be "Animal House", the `Scary Movie' franchise, and the `American Pie' series. With those examples of successful teen comedies, they all have some common traits in which they share, basically they are packed full of sex, nudity, and crude humor and language. However, one thing these examples of successful teen comedies, and even the unsuccessful ones lack is any amount of heart or soul in the story. In 2004, Fox Studios produced yet another teen comedy to appease the masses for a short while, "The Girl Next Door". Starring Elisha Cuthbert (TV's "24") and an unknown lead actor named Emile Hirsch, "The Girl Next Door" would stand out from the other teen comedies that have come before it or even after it, for this movie contained the one thing that I said was lacking in those others, that is heart and soul.

"The Girl Next Door" is the story of 18-year-old Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch), a straight-laced, overachieving, good boy who has never really lived life to the fullest. That is, until he spies his incredibly sexy neighbor (Elisha Cuthbert) changing in the window, and finds that through his desire to be with her, he will do anything and everything to be with her. But, Matthew gets thrown for somewhat of a loop when he discovers that his perfect `girl next door' is actually a former porn star, who is trying to forget about the life she used to lead. Now, Matthew's sheltered life quickly begins to spin out of control as he attempts to help his new girlfriend leave the life she knew to embrace the life she longs for.

The reason I feel this movie is far and above those other teen comedies I listed, some of which I enjoyed by the way, is like I said earlier "The Girl Next Door" contains plenty of heart and soul in its story. This movie isn't simply about having sex, yes there is that obligatory teen comedy element in this movie, but this movie is actually about the discovery that sex isn't the only thing to look for in a relationship with someone. To prove that point the main character in the story, Matthew, who by the way is played perfectly by Emile Hirsch, is forced to learn that to have a true meaningful relationship with a woman, he must get past his lustful desire to only want the physical body, with no regard for the emotional side of the woman. A lesson he has to learn the hard way, and it forces his character to mature throughout the story, until finally he is able to have a committed relationship with this `girl next door', as he discovers that she is more than just a beautiful woman, and former porn star, and in fact that she is a person with real feelings. And all she asks of Matthew is that he move past her former life and see her for who she truly is.

The writing in this story is better than most contained in this type of movie, generally the story is fairly thin, and is pretty much there to link each crude joke to the next or to bridge the gap between sex scenes; however, in this movie the story is the main focus, yes there are the crude jokes and a couple of sex scenes, but the story isn't simply a minor plot device to get the audience to these obligatory teen comedy sequences. The actors all do a very good job of bringing their characters to life, and appear to be enjoying themselves immensely with the roles they've been given. Elisha Cuthbert and Emile Hirsch share a great chemistry that helps to elevate this movie to almost a romantic comedy level, instead of just teen comedy. Timothy Olyphant ("A Man Apart" and "Scream 2") makes several appearances throughout the film as a shady porn producer, and he manages to steal almost every scene that he's in, and actually provides Matthew with some rather sage advice, though inadvertently I might add.

If you are a fan of teen comedies, but are perhaps tired of the same old thing, then check out "The Girl Next Door", I promise you it is more than your average teen, gross-out sex comedy.

"The Girl Next Door" is available in both rated R and Unrated editions, both contain language and sexuality/nudity."