A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.
While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with -- a woman whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womanizer.
18-year-old Matthew Kidman is a straight 'A' over-achiever who feels that he has never really lived life to the full. That is, until he meets 'the girl next door'. Danielle moves in next door, and Matthew thinks he's found the girl of his dreams. All is going well, until Matthew's sex-mad friend Eli reveals that Danielle is actually a ex-porn star. Matthew doesn't know how to take the news or how to treat Danielle, and things go from bad to worse when Danielle's former producer Kelly appears to take her back. Written by
Here we have a great example of how decent writers, armed with creative juice to spare, can take a well-worn plot and rework it to make it seem fresh. Just when you think you've got the next twist figured out, you're surprised. This happens throughout the movie, making The Girl Next Door one of the most charming, smart and subversive teen comedies I've seen in a long time - beautifully written, perfectly cast, a real pleasure from start to finish.
Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert and Timothy Olyphant shine in their respective roles as the young man at a crossroads in his life, the girl next door of the title, equally confused, and the scuzball with a heart who knows he has to do the right thing even if it goes against his 'business instincts.' These characters are not one-dimensional, thanks to the superb writing, nor are they caricatures; they come across as genuine individuals, and the comedy in the film comes not at their expense but rather organically, as part of their journey. As Olyphant's character asks Hirsch at one point: "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" In this case, it most definitely is.
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