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Film / The Girl Next Door (2004)

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The Girl Next Door is a 2004 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Luke Greenfield, starring Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsch, and Timothy Olyphant.

The film centers around Matthew Kidman (Hirsch), an honor student who falls in love for the first time with his beautiful new next-door neighbor Danielle (Cuthbert), but finds the situation becoming complicated after he learns that she is a former porn star.

Not to be confused with the 2007 film of the same name based on Jack Ketchum's novel The Girl Next Door.


This film contains examples of:

  • The Big Damn Kiss: When Matthew and Danielle share their first kiss. Matthew just takes charge and kisses Danielle; everything slows downs and they got lost in the moment.
  • Black Comedy: During the making of the sex ed video, one porn star says she lost her virginity at prom, then asks the other when she lost hers. She quietly replies that she was 10, then there's an awkward silence before they abruptly move on.
  • The Cameo: WWE wrestler Luther Reigns as a man at the porn convention.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Matthew refuses to watch Danielle's porn movies or sleep with her just for the hell of it, because he's genuinely in love with her.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • An abysmal sex education video from (apparently) the 1950s makes the heroes wonder why it's never been updated. What saves the day for them in the end? Eli directing a modern, topical, and engrossing sex education video.
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    • The drawing Danielle makes Matthew when they first meet. He eventually uses it to convince her how he really sees her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Matthew sees Danielle for the first time, he walks into a trash can and knocks it over.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Played with. Danielle forces Matthew to strip naked and then steals his underwear, forcing him to run after the car fully nude. On the one hand she only did it because he watched her undress (and she didn't tell his parents) but on the other, would a man forcing a teenage girl to do this be Played for Laughs?
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Danielle asks this at one point.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: The sexy outlandish adult film actress Danielle has curly blond hair.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Matthew earns enough money to pay back the Sam Yung fund, the sex-ed videos put Eli's career as a filmmaker on the map, and Danielle is finally able to escape her porn career.
  • Fanservice: There are more than a few nude and nearly nude attractive women in this movie.
  • Gilligan Cut: Matthew telling Daniel he is not taking his clothes off. It cuts to him standing in his underwear.
  • Girl Next Door: Danielle subverts the trope, being a porn actress played by Elisha Cuthbert.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: When Matthew imagines Danielle making out with his mother, and later with her two friends in the limousine.
  • Graceful Loser: Once Kelly finds out that Matthew was making a sex-ed film that his parents and principal approved of instead of a raunchy porno, Kelly smiles while realizing he has no cards left to play to steal Matthew's money.
  • Happily Ever After: The Sealed with a Kiss ending for Matthew and Danielle makes this such.
  • Hate Sink: Kelly is Danielle's ex-boyfriend and manager from the porn industry. At first he seems charming, but after Danielle leaves the industry for good because of Matt, Kelly retaliates by twice assaulting him, and tries to ruin his life by setting him up as the fall guy for theft, as well as stealing all the money Matthew raised for a charity, and finally a bungled attempt to ruin his image by showing his family a "porn video" Matthew and his friends made which turns out to be a sex education tape.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Matthew and his friends.
  • Imagine Spot: Matthew does this a few times.
    • He imagines a disaster scenario resulting in the security guard being killed if he tried to ditch school.
    • After Matthew finds out that Danielle used to be a porn star, he has a Brain Bleach version of the trope when he imagines her making out with both his parents in front of him. Although that doesn't stop him from picturing her naked and having sex with him a few minutes later.
    • He imagines Sam Yung and his mother cursing a lot more than in their past communications, in reaction to his losing all the money.
    • Another disaster scenario near the end when he imagines the video production getting caught.
  • Ironic Echo: "It's like a gift, you know? It's like I can't control it..."
    • It's not emphasized, but Matthew explains his attempt to extremely awkwardly get Danielle to have sex with him with "just chillin'", the same response she gave after bringing him to a party he had no interest in.
    • When Mathew first meets Kelly, Kelly asks what he wants to do later in life, to which Mathew responds that he wants to be president. Kelly tells him that the first rule of being a politician is to make sure "the juice is worth the squeeze." At the end of the film, as Kelly prepares to shoot a very low budget porno movie, he opens a cigar box from Mathew with a note that reads "the juice was worth the squeeze," causing him to smile.
  • Jerkass: Danielle's ex, Kelly.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Danielle comes off this way initially, and certainly has this effect on Matthew. However she herself is more complex and pragmatic than she first appears.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The tape that Matthew, Danielle and the others filmed on prom night. It was a sex-ed video, not porn.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Danielle subverts this once it's revealed that she wants to escape that life.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: While this isn't touched on in the film, the director's commentary mentions that Matthew is losing his virginity during his and Danielle's first time.
  • Official Couple: Matthew and Danielle.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Matthew and Danielle end the movie with a kiss.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: Invoked by Danielle who turns up on Klitzy's doorstep with a damp blouse (from being in the pool). "I'm all wet, can I come in?"
  • Sex Miseducation Class: The sex education film that the school uses seemed to have been made sometime in the 1950s' and warns of the dangers of premarital sex. Later, when Kelly shows up at Mathew's house to show the movie, he and Danielle's friends filmed at the high school to his parents and the principal, it features Danielle's porn star friends narrating an actual sex-ed video that is more relevant to the modern day. * Shameful Strip: Danielle forces Matthew to strip in front of her. And then she steals his boxers and drives away with them (briefly).
  • Smug Snake: Kelly.
  • Spiky Hair: Kelly. Notably when he's pretending to be a less-shady character in front of Matthew's parents, his hair is slicked down.
  • Stage Names: Danielle's porn star name is Athena.
  • Their First Time: Matthew and Danielle have sex for the first time in a limo. In the director's commentary, Luke Greenfield describes it as follows: "This scene. My first love scene I have ever shot. Was a scene of loss of innocence. Matthew's losing his virginity and Danielle's making love for the very first time."
  • Throwing Out the Script: Matthew appears to do this, but it's a subversion. While it appears this way to the audience (who think he's incredibly sweet), he actually has nothing written down. He'd been too busy slacking off (and, in fairness, falling in love and learning life lessons) to write the speech.
  • Threat Backfire: Ever since Danielle started getting friendly with Mathew, Kelly warned him not to steal his top performer or he would make him regret it. Near the end, Kelly finds out that they, Mathew's friends from school, and Danielle's porn star friends made a movie, and he shows up at Mathew's house to show the film they made in school to his parents and the principal. It works out at the end since the movie was a comprehensive sex ed video that was more in tune to the modern day, as opposed to the original film which was at least fifty years old, and warned of the dangers of premarital sex. The principal decides they will use Mathew's video, and he also makes a fortune when he signs a deal with a competing porn studio to distribute the video.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Daniele and Matthew have one by sneaking into a neighbor's backyard. It gets ruined when the homeowner returns home.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: "Is this what you think of me?"
  • Worthy Opponent: When Kelly finally runs out of cards to play, he silently acknowledges Matt as this with a smile.


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