The Girl Next Door

first_imgOdeon 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 2004last_img

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