We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
The studio should be ashamed of itself for advertising "The Girl Next Door" as a teenage comedy. It's a nasty piece of business, involving a romance between a teenage porn actress and a high school senior. A good movie could presumably be made from this premise -- a good movie can be made from anything, in the right hands and way -- but this is a dishonest, quease-inducing "comedy" that had me feeling uneasy and then unclean. Who in the world read this script and thought it was acceptable?
The film stars Emile Hirsch as Matthew Kidman. (Please tell me the "Kidman" is not an oblique reference to Nicole Kidman and therefore to Tom Cruise and therefore to "Risky Business," the film this one so desperately wants to resemble.) One day he sees a sexy girl moving in next door, and soon he's watching through his bedroom window as she undresses as girls undress only in his dreams. Then she sees him, snaps off the light, and a few minutes later rings the doorbell.
Has she come to complain? No, she says nothing about the incident and introduces herself as Danielle to Matthew's parents: Her aunt is on vacation, and she is house-sitting. Soon they're in her car together and Danielle is coming on to Matthew: "Did you like what you saw?" He did. She says now it's her turn to see him naked, and makes him strip and stand in the middle of the road while she shines the headlights on him. Then she scoops up his underpants and drives away, leaving him to walk home naked, ho, ho. (It is not easy to reach out of a car and scoop up underpants from the pavement while continuing to drive. Try it sometime.)
Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) has two personalities: In one, she's a sweet, misunderstood kid who has never been loved, and in the other she's a twisted emotional sadist who amuses herself by toying with the feelings of the naive Matthew. The movie alternates between these personalities at its convenience, making her quite the most unpleasant character I have seen in some time.