Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
A clever little ploy that brown wrapper. I like it. The sexy picture of the female star wasn’t enough to appeal to the lower common denominator, the implication of porno is the icing on the cake:)
- Director Commentary – This is a man who uses swear words like he’s reading from a hit list of bad language. He has so much fun with the process of making this movie he seems to be a first timer enjoying the awe of it all. But this is a seasoned director who just wants to tell a story and give the audience some fun. It’s not one of those dry technical commentaries you often get with DVD’s, and that’s all down to Greenfield’s lively personality.
- 16 Uncensored deleted/extended scenes – A lot of these are just slightly longer versions of scenes that did make it into the final cut of the film. They were all either trimmed down for time or pace, so there’s not much in the way of content here.
- Original ending – Don’t blink, you’ll miss the original lame ending. This is one time I am glad that focus groups spoke up and got something changed about a movie. Usually I despise the whole focus group thing, but this is one instance where they came in handy to get a poo poo ending off of an otherwise ok movie.
- Gag reel – Gag? Porno? Hmmm Oh, no it’s not like that, believe me. This is just a few mess ups by the cast that back in the olden days we called bloopers.
- A look next door – Standard interviews with the cast and director mixed with a whole lot of “you don’t want to watch this stuff before you watch the movie” footage. It’s a pretty good little extra and it’s one of those times when the making of featurette might have made the movie a tad more appealing. The movie didn’t thrill me, but learning more about the director and how it all came together filled in a few of the gaps where the film itself seemed a bit empty.
- The Eli experience – You’ve got to see this to believe it. One of the characters takes us on a field trip to an Adult Film Industry convention for some kamikaze documentary film making. Becoming his character, a wannabe adult film producer, our young director in the making pulls some stunts on the oh-so-innocent adult film conventioneers. Think of this as Tom Green, Jack Ass, Ali G, and Candid Camera meets Porn. It’s funny stuff if you like to see unprepared standers by being humiliated by a large muscle bound man in skin tight orange Speedos making random lewd propositions.
First of all I want to say I admire this movie for it’s boldness. There are times when you are not expecting a line or a change of events because it might just be going a tiny bit too far, but they forge ahead with some interesting dialogue and character choices that make this little movie that much more tolerable. Oh, now why would I say tolerable? I’m not trying to imply that this movie isn’t entertaining or even that it’s that bad. In fact, I did like most of it. It was one of those that had a lot of flash, but not a lot of substance. Why would you want substance when we are talking porn star and teenage boy? Well, if it were an all balls out slap stick comedy that was trying to be nothing more than two hours of titillating scenes of naked boobs and horny high-schoolers I could over look a lot of the flaws. As it is, it’s trying to be somewhat intelligent, somewhat more than just a romp in the back seat of a car kind of flick. It does have some heart and there is a lot of attention to the changes the characters make from start to finish.
So, with a strip bar scene, the theft of a phallic film award, clips from naughty films, and the inevitable porn star prom dates, we get our share of the titillating stuff, agreed. However, there are a lot more moments between our leading young man and young woman where these two actually show some substance in their characters. I’m not saying they are complex or anything quite so deep, but they aren’t quite as shallow and boring as a lot of people we have seen in this genre. That genre would be the ever popular “semi cheap and sleazy youth gone wrong but in a charming funny kind of way” type of movie.
No, this is not the Risky Business of the new millennium. Get that out of your head. Let’s compare. Risky business had a hooker, a teenage boy on the verge of not getting into college, a jerky pimp guy causes some trauma and the teenage boy ends up with the now reformed hooker. Girl next door has a porn star, a teenage boy on the verge of not getting into college, a jerky producer guy causes some trauma and, well, does the teenage boy end? up with the porn star? Find that out for yourself. As you can see these are completely different movies right down to the train/limo scenes. I’m a HUGE fan of Risky Business, so nothing compares to it really. The Girl Next Door pretty much pales in comparison, even though it gives it a good try. Could it be because I’m twenty years older? Absolutely not.
I won’t overlook the sound track of great movieish tunes. The Who, David Gray, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Queen and more rattle the speakers of your surround sound set up and breathe a little more emotion into a few scenes that need as much help as they can get. I often wonder what it would be like to take all the music out of a movie like this, and watch it just with the dialogue. I think it would fall pretty flat. But then again, what movie can survive without the music of each respective generation? I guess it’s just a package deal and with a coming of age flick you need the kind of music that stirs up all kinds of feelings. That sexy beat can sometimes make the star seem hotter and the story just a little bit more intense.
My favorite things about this movie are few and far between, but they are enough to salvage an otherwise so-so film. Kelly, the bad guy is played by Timothy Olyphant. He’s the Sheriff guy from Deadwood on HBO, which makes him extra cool. He plays a wild, unpredictable, lovable/hate able character who keeps the screen alive when he’s around. The music, of course, is excellent. Then there is the scene where our teen angst ridden lead character is slipped some ‘E’ and does a fantastic job of playing up his new state of mind. There’s enough interesting dialogue scattered throughout the story to make it intriguing, and enough laughs to keep it fun.
You get an above average movie and a handful of extras, but even with that I say if this DVD is not under 15 bucks it’s too much. Rent this bad boy and have a couple hours of unadulterated crazy fun.
Overall Score 7/10