The Girl Next Door

Odeon The Girl Next Door is the kind of film for which the term
fantasy really should be used, although thankfully not a single
orc appears. Instead, it depicts a creature far more readily
found in the collective imagination of the male contingent of its
adolescent target audience, and tells a story almost as
implausible as any sword and sorcery epic. This is the kind of fantasy where, whilst most of us spend our
teenage years living next door to smelly old crones with lots of
cats, one smart but overly-conscientious high school student
finds himself sharing a property line with the delicious Danielle
( 24’’s Elisha Cuthbert). As if that weren’t
enough good fortune, she adds the cherry on top and falls for
him. Alas, it turns out that the word cherry hasn’t been
used around young Danielle for quite a while; will her past as a
porn starlet ruin everything? The thought that such a thing could be considered potentially
ruinous, rather than merely a stroke of very good luck, may be
treated with incredulity by many young men out there. There are
feelings behind that swiftly-shed basque, however, and it is on
the people, rather than the porn, that the film focuses. Director
Luke Greenfield does surprisingly well and serves up something
that has a little more to it than most high-school movies. The
Girl Next Door is cute, funny, warm and well put together, with
few pretensions but more than enough coming- of-age wish
fulfilment to balance out the inevitable, and often very funny,
lashings of teen sex comedy. If the boys in the audience can suspend their disbelief (and
envy) regarding the unlikely coupling, and the girls can rein in
their jealousy when the camera lingers yet again on Cuthbert,
they’ll have almost as much fun as Dick van Dyke auditioning for Chitty Chitty Gang Bang.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004