Forget Bill. After postponing last weekend’s scheduled release of Kill Bill Vol 2 for another two months, I’m most certainly not the only one ready to Kill Tarantino because instead, I found myself at a sneak preview of The Girl Next Door, a film that unfortunately cannot decide whether to be comic or dramatic. The plot goes something like this: straight-laced high school senior Matthew (Emile Hirsch) becomes involved with his new, former porn star neighbor, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), throwing his life into a two-hour tailspin of unexpected – and impossible – situations. Why do we always believe these high school movies so implicitly when no one has ever attended such a horribly stereotyped academic atmosphere?
I can handle far-fetched films if they intend to be far-fetched; if the movie and its characters are able to laugh at themselves, we are too. The Girl Next Door, however, takes itself seriously, and the situational comedy is so outrageous that any attempt to accept these situations as plausible is an insult to our intelligence.
The film’s major flaw is that it is so pathetically average. Most characters’ antics and problematic situations you could presumptuously predict and the very few surprises inspired no interest nor elicited any excitement. I cared ridiculously little about these characters and their exploits.
The Girl Next Door tries to be edgy, but makes a pitiful attempt. What the filmmakers intend to pass as generation-defining, American Pie-like humor only leaves audiences disappointed when left with a far less entertaining rendition of the same old jokes. Unfortunate, for the predictability and mediocrity of the film as a whole detracts from the few innovative scenes.
The only bright spots are the very entertaining performances given by Emile Hirsch and Chris Marquette, who plays one of Matthew’s quirky best friends. Marquette speaks the only funny lines in the film while Hirsch, though a fairly new face to film proves to be charming, enjoyable, and a worthy actor. He breathes life into an otherwise stale film.
Despite his poor choice in film, his charisma is undeniable, and I hope to see more of him in future films. The film opens nationwide March 12, but it’s hardly a movie that needs to make your March must-see list.
Save your money, there are many better-looking films coming out. C+