For guys in their mid-to-late 20’s, The Girl Next Door is a certified classic. I saw it for the first time going into the sixth grade as an 11-year-old, and will always watch it if I come across it on the movie channels. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it start-to-finish, but thankfully, It’s landed in the HBO rotation the past couple weeks. I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence, with Monday serving as the 15th anniversary since the Luke Greenfield-directed flick hit theaters.
Now, I spend most of the time either laughing at how dumb I was for believing their depiction of the high school experience, or how a lot of the dialogue and symbolism probably went way over my head 15 years ago. I feel like the first 10 years of life are a blur, and then we start to slow down time and develop a better understanding of how things in the world work around 6th grade.
Long before the days of Tinder and Bumble, you were pretty much stuck with whoever was in your school. Now imagine this, a beautiful ex-porn star moves in next door, and she’s somehow into you. If that isn’t the ultimate (totally unrealistic) fantasy scenario for a dude in high school, I don’t know what is.
Elisha Cuthbert delivers the performance of a lifetime. It’s crazy to think she was only 21-years-old when the film released. A little over a weekend ago, I tweeted out that Danielle may be my favorite female role in movie history, and I stand by it. The Canadian actress quickly joined my list of crushes at the time time, which probably included a combination of Eva Mendes and Torrie Wilson. Heck, I went to see House of Wax just based on Cuthbert being cast in the film. It’s a shame she’s pretty much gotten blackballed by Hollywood since.
I’ve even changed my phone background to Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door to pay homage to Elisha and the 15th anniversary. There’s just certain scenes that will forever be imprinted on my brain, whether that’s her drawing in the diner or hitting Klitz and a stunned Eli with the signature, “I’m all wet, can I come in?” line.
One of the main reasons I was inspired to write this piece was because of the expectations the movie set for us when it came to more mature subjects we just didn’t know about yet. Just think about how much your senior prom paled in comparison to what they showed. They shot a sex-ed film for crying out loud! How about the fucking Tripod rolling up to the porn convention, where Eli and Klitz pose as directors and eventually get chased out by a meathead in dramatic fashion.
I’d wander to guess that this movie was the first time I’d been exposed to strip club culture as well. That was pretty funny when Matt sees a close family friend he’d never expect to be there, as you can never judge a book by its cover when it comes to your usual “strip club guy.”
Let’s give a shout-out to Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), who did a great job in the villain role. He actually scared the crap out of me watching back in the day, but he’s a lot funnier now, and deserves major credit for raising the stakes of the film. Kelly probably wouldn’t get away with some of the things his character did these days, like rolling up to Matt’s high school and pitching girl students to enter the adult entertainment industry.
Things also went downhill for Matt once he tried to bring Danielle to a local shitty motel on Eli’s recommendation. There’s one positive takeaway we learned growing up, stay away from the motel life with someone you genuinely care about.
Overall, the juice was worth the squeeze, as the best thing that could be said is they just don’t make comedy movies like this anymore. If you have some time Monday, hit up HBO or your go-to pirating website and take a stroll down memory lane by popping on one of my absolute favorites with The Girl Next Door. Moral Fiber, baby.