Franz Patrick's Movie Review of The Girl Next Door (2004)

Rating of

The Girl Next Door (2004)

Hirsch Made the Film All the More Enjoyable
Franz Patrick - wrote on 07/28/08

I remember watching "Ebert and Roeper" when they reviewed this film and they absolutely hated it. Granted, they were spot-on about the trailers presenting this movie as a romantic comedy when it really is not. It gets more serious than most romantic comedies and I think it's a wise move on the filmmakers' part. What I don't agree with is this film being nothing but raunchy. Sure, there were nudity but I thought it had a genuine heart, especially during the first half of the film. I felt for Emile Hirsch's character when he couldn't think of a high school memory that he would always remember. It made me look back on my high school years. Even though the main character was successful in school, he didn't really make the most of it because he was too busy getting excellent grades, participating in extracurricular activities, and pleasing other people (most often adults). All those things he did so he could get into a good college, which is still dependent on a scholarship that he has to win. Just summarizing all those things that he had to go through makes my head hurt. Anyway, we get to see this character change from someone who didn't really know how to live life to someone who has loved and is willing to take risks for the things that truly mattered to him. The movie was consistently amusing even though there were no laugh-out-loud scenes. Regardless, the tone is just right and all the characters had something to contribute to the overall picture. The factor that it could have improved upon was the pacing of the second half. With a little more time on the cutting floor, I think it could have had more focus, thereby enhancing the entire product. Still, I had a good time while watching this movie so I'll recommend it to anyone who is into films that have crude humor and introspective moments.

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