The Girl Next Door (2004) - Unrated

Genre(s): Comedy --> Sex / Romance
Fox || Unrated - 109 minutes - $14.98 || August 24, 2004
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-01-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Luke Greenfield
Writer(s): David Wagner (story) & Brent Goldberg (story), Stuart Blumberg (screenplay) and David Wagner (screenplay) & Brent Goldberg (screenplay)
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olymphant, James Remar, Chris Marquette, Paul Dano


Theatrical Release Date: March 27, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director Commentary
  • Actor's Scene Specific Commentary
  • The Eli Experience
  • "A Look Next Door"
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Stills Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Easter Egg


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

I must admit, I enjoyed The Girl Next Door on DVD versus at the theater. I still, however, don't think it's the potential teen classic as some may place it, but it's good enough entertainment with a good looking cast (Hirsch and Cuthbert both have nice chemistry). Having not seen the theatrical version since, well the theaters (and a whole month before it was released), so I can't say what changed except some extra nude scenes (not from Elisha, sorry fellas) and some other shots that I only noticed thanks to the director's commentary.

The Girl Next Door still has a sleazy undertone that I couldn't get past and while it may have had it's heart in the right place, I cannot say that this is on par with even the American Pie, but it's not as bad as I remembered it. Maybe in a few years time, it'll get better (or it could get worse, you never know).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

With an underperforming and pretty unadvertised teen sex comedy, I didn't expect much in regards to special features and, for the most part, I was right.

There's a commentary track from director Luke Greenfield who stays on topic and avoids telestrating the film and instead tells why he loved the script so much, why these young actors were perfect for the roles (he especially focused on their eyes as they, in one scene, gaze at each other). This is one of the better single-manned commentary going along the lines of Peyton Reed on the Bring it On DVD. Also, it's nice to listen to a commentary for the unrated DVD so that they can point out what's new in this version, which Greenfield thankfully does.

On the flip-side of the disc are scene specific commentary from the two young stars, Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert who provide their own commentary for about 7 or 8 scenes (separately). Each of these scenes maybe last a few minutes and don't really provide much information. I will say that this is a better system than just splicing their comments with the regular commentary.

The Eli Experience: This is one long practical joke that takes place at the porn expo in Vegas where Eli manages to get some of the visitors to come behind the camera and be in their own porn movie. Also included is the big man trying to get a man to kiss (I guess you've got to see it...). A pretty funny skit that you might see on "SNL".

"A Look Next Door": Ah, the oligatory 'making-of' featurette where the cast and crew can kiss some ass and promote a film that's not destined to be anything but another sex comedy. This goes through each character, who they are, where they come from and why they're important to the plot. Although I'm not a big fan of these superficial features, I get even more pissed if it's not even there at all (they just can't win, can they?)

Deleted/Extended Scenes: There are 16 deleted or extended scenes that, as is in most cases, were cut because of pacing issues. However, there were a scene or two that could've been placed such as where Eli continues to bug Matt (after he finds out the girl next door was a porn star). Other interesting scenes include: "Regrets" where Matt wishes he never had met girl; an extended cut of the love in the limo as well as the original ending where Matt is seen walking out of Capital Hill (he's now a high profile politician).

Other features: Gag reel where the actors make flubs (always a fun thing to watch), a throw-away still gallery, movie trailers (an unrated one for The Girl Next Door) and an easter egg of the original 50's sex education video.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The picture looked good, didn't really find any faults and there is the usual Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound that sounds OK, but let's face it, this is a comedy. When I'm not reviewing a movie, I don't bother using the surround sound with this genre (and some cases, drama as well).



.::OVERALL::.

The Girl Next Door, in retrospect, is a half-way decent teen sex comedy that is not a classic in my book but I can see why others may love it. The DVD itself has a good amount of features to offer considering this was not a box office success (how many people knew this was even out?) and the commentary from director Greenfield is fun to listen to.