If you’re of a more Puritain viewpoint, you may want to pass over this post…No rough language, but just discussing the film, “The Girl Next Door”.
Here’s the IMDB link to start off.
What baffled me about this movie was the way the advertising and the plot conflicted and the way the movie’s threads’ messages conflicted with each other.
First about the advertising and plot mess.
So the advertising told us that a bookish middle class kid in suburbia has a surprise when the very hot girl next door moves in. The advertising put us in the dramatic irony bucket with the secret that she was formerly in adult films.
If you think for a moment about this, that would mean she must at least be 18 (assume that things are legal) and that she must have made some amazingly fast inroads instead of going to high school. This is kinda sad.
Now if you want to take this sad away, let’s make her 20, in which case the liason between her and her neighbor is a little less prone to malaise.
OK, so now I’m thinking we’re watching something like a Porky’s. A boy and his suburbanite friends are going to be fumbling voyeurs in pursuit of the hot girl. I’m expected a cross house/window undressing viewing scene (delivered), some skinny dipping hijinx (delivered), showing up the jocks at prom (delivered)
OK - I’m watching some “American Pie” teen nakedy drama. Ready for laughs!
It then turns into a “I’m going to help you really live life, not be soo bookish” thing. OK, that’s fine. So now it’s like “Risky Business”. Cool. “Risky..” opened up kinda horndog and then went kinda “Be more than you were”. But the sadness and desperation of the situation were tacitly painted and never let to run over the main drama of the movie.
In any case, our hero decides to put the moves on her after finding out her past and a lot of urging from his friends, she gets upset (justifiably), and he feels horrible.
Now hang on, the ads were titilating me because of this characters’ past, now you’re making me feel bad about it? I thought this was a comedy? Why are you making me feel bad about myself? When Elisha Cuthbert delivers a line about I like the way you look at me, you don’t objectify me, etc. Wait, huh, the ads told me i should objectify you, huh what? I’m such a scumbag!
And then comes the hammer, the information comes out that she’s going back to her old ways, because that’s all she’ll ever be to anyone. OK, now I’m really feeling bad about having been interested by the advertising for this movie.
So there you have it - the advertising makes you feel bad once you start watching the movie.
That said, it was a good movie to watch, but what the message was, or what I, as a viewer, was supposed to think, was a complete muddle. Left to my own devices I feel bad for having watched the movie – and that’s no way to encourage word of mouth.
But to the second point, that the movies’ threads conflict with one another, well so now that we’ve decided that the industry is bad and the girls are victims - our hero’s way out of the hijinx is to produce a movie? Wait huh? You have me thinking that there is nothing but exploitation, but the hero, that we’re supposed to like, is going to get out of his various jams by exploiting? Huh? Wait? What?