The Girl Next Door (Unrated)

20th Century Fox Released 2004


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Movie Summary

Luke Greenfield

The Girl Next Door is a comedy film from 2004 starring Emile Hirsch as Matthew Kidman, a straight- A student, whose plans for the end of his senior year are drastically altered by the appearance of the new girl next door, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert). While Matthew is writing his speech to win a scholarship to Georgetown and struggling to place anything memorable from his high school experience, Danielle is the kind of girl who charges over to Matthews house when she catches him peeking at her through the window while she changes. This sets the tone for their dynamic, proving that opposites really do attract. With Danielle in his life, Matthew realizes that every day can be an adventure, and she finds his nervous demeanor charming. Everything is going great until Matthewâ��s friend Eli (Chris Marquette) shows him an adult film starring Danielle under the name Athena. Matt takes Eliâ��s misguided advice to try to have sex with her, a ruse she sees through and ends their relationship. Matthew finds that his actions have driven Danielle to go to an adult film convention in Vegas with her ex-coworker, porn producer Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), and he follows her to apologize and bring her back, with the help of Eli and their other friend, Klitz (Paul Dano). Kelly loses patience with Matthewâ��s interference and demands the money heâ��s losing from Athena no longer acting in his films, and sets Matt up in a robbery of rival producer, then steals the money Matthew had been raising to bring a Cambodian exchange student to his school. Kelly also gives Matthew ecstasy right before his scholarship speech. With his dreams dashed, Matthew realizes heâ��s going to have to behave in a way he never has before, taking risks to get the reward, get the money back, and get the girl.


Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Variety Joe Leydon

    A tickle-and-tease teen sex comedy that plays like a late-night channel-surf through soft-core sitcoms, "American Pie" wannabes and '80s Brat Pack romances.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    What is disturbing and frankly distasteful about The Girl Next Door is how slick and shameless it is in its eagerness to blur boundaries, to squeeze as much transgressive material ...

  • 30

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Offers a view of pornography that is nonjudgmental, even celebratory, but at the same time its premise -- that Danielle must be rescued from the shame and degradation of her old jo...

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girl next door, Teen, nerd fantasy, opposites attract, nerdy friend