The Girl Next Door (Director's Cut)
dir. Luke Greenfield
Now available.

A lot of people wonder what it takes to make it as a filmmaker in Hollywood. Of course, if I knew the real answer, I'd probably be snorting speedballs off the hipbones of a 15-year-old supermodel while riding a stallion down the PCH under a hailstorm of tickertape and confetti made out of shredded $100 bills. Failing that option, however, I'd like to advance a theoretical formula for Hollywood success that I gleaned from watching the Director's Cut of The Girl Next Door on DVD. More specifically, it was the commentary track by director Luke Greenfield that confirmed something I've long suspected: You want to be a professional filmmaker? Just don't ever experience a moment of self-doubt.

The facts are plain: The Girl Next Door is an abominable film--a comedy without humor, a teen sex romp with no discernable erotic appeal (aside from the poster), and a blatant remake of Risky Business without any of the original film's wit, humanity, or style. You wouldn't know any of this, however, from Greenfield's play-by-play. He clearly believes he has made a film whose heart swells to bursting with rich comedic ribaldry and profound human empathy. To hear him tell it, this story of the porn star who moves in next door to the straight-A student and winds up teaching him a thing or two about the wild side (while she discovers what it is to be truly loved by a virginal nerd, rather than exploited by her venal pimp/producer, which is the only other option, apparently) is as American as apple pie. I'll give it this: It's as American as American Pie, which is to say, too constrained by its own premise to be anything other than a formula run, but too chicken to deliver on anything that might be genuinely provocative. Greenfield's commentary is the only actually funny thing about this DVD; it seems perfectly likely that we'll be seeing more of his exciting, deeply personal work in the future.

Along with the commentary, you get the usual crap: deleted scenes (again, withcommentary), on-set interviews with the well-trained cast, and a film that's slightly longer than the original because of a three-second insert of hardcore porn that constitutes the only moment of truth in the whole picture.

Support The Stranger