The Girl Next Door (2004) #SherylPuthur


Directed By: Luke Greenfield

Written By: Stuart Blumberg; David T. Wagner; Brent Goldberg


Emile Hirsch – Matthew Kidman

Elisha Cuthbert – Danielle

Timothy Olyphant – Kelly

James Remar – Hugo Posh

Chris Marquette – Eli

Paul Dano – Klitz

Language: English                                Genre: Teen comedy; coming of age


The Girl Next Door is sort of a coming-of-age story of a high school senior Matthew (Emile Hirsch) who is a top student and seemingly has his life sorted but feels that he has made no impact or that it is actually very drab. That is until a beautiful girl Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) moves next door and she changes things for him. He has to question his hypocrisies and the stereotypes he holds about the world around him because the girl next door is an ex- porn star.

The film has a lot of conflict. Be it internal (moralistic society-influenced opinions vs. ‘what the heart wants/believes’) or external (the director Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) who refuses to let Danielle quit because she is good and popular). Matthew’s two friends Eli (Chris Marquette) and Klitz (Paul Dano) also haven’t experienced anything of life except for what they have read or watched (porn videos). So when three so-called geeks get involved in the world of adult cinema and theft – it leads to hilarious results.

The film explores the idea of moral judgement. Maybe as humans we are far too quick to judge and label people especially because of sexuality. And just because someone acts holier than thou or is an ‘upstanding’ member of society does not mean in the recesses of their heart they do not contradict what they ostensibly seen to stand for.

It is refreshing to see a film that portrays porn stars as people especially when social media has been unable to comprehend Sunny Leone as any other woman but as a porn star and so the comments range from moralistic tut-tutting to aww come on baby. Of course, the film is not entirely without judgement because – Danielle deserves ‘better’ but then chalk it up to the fact that she does want to study and not do this all her life.

The Girl Next Door is not your average American teen movie. It’s quirky, mad and slightly explicit and it is definitely not about the ‘geek’ getting into the cool clique. So watch it for its different take on teens and porn stars. How maybe porn can be something more?