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The Girl Next Door
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 04.14.2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: The Girl Next Door Reply with quote

Oh, boy, aren't I just committing suicide by starting up a thread which offers high praise for such a movie? Well, here it goes.



To tell you the truth, after this movie, I've experienced something rare--not wanting to see anything else just to preserve the greatness of it all. I'd agree with Rob's review that it is completely misadvertised, as it does not contain a single fart joke or gratuitous sex-scene, with no purpose.



I really never thought I'd be saying that such a movie is as intelligent as I am right now, and I don't know, it just seems inspiring. It doesn't get much better than this--it's like an imaginative excercise in poignancy in an otherwise moronic situation, full of characters that wouldn't seem likeable for the get-go. Director Luke Greenfield has really reached mastery, as Dustin Putman elaborated on in his www.themovieboy.com review.



I suppose my thoughts are a stronger version of those of www.mooremovies.com 's Jack Moore's.



I may almost sound like a shill right now, but just thought I'd give the studio some true promotion, as it may be at the bottom of all of your priority lists. However, take the chance.



As for the negative opinions of Ebert and Roeper, I don't think they "get" it. How Ebert can give American Pie 2 a strong recommendation and not this baffles me. On I rant...
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Michael Scrutchin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 04.14.2004 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been eager to see The Girl Next Door.



Funny thing, though. A lot of reviews have said the previews are misleading -- that it's not a stupid, raunchy sex comedy but actually a smart, sweet, even touching Risky Business-style movie. Then Roger Ebert's review begins with this:



"The studio should be ashamed of itself for advertising The Girl Next Door as a teenage comedy. It's a nasty piece of business..."



Seems he responded differently than most of the others who've mentioned the "misleading" advertising. And he gives the film a half-star. Yikes.



I'm still eager to see it, and may check it out this week.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 04.15.2004 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the problem I don't get with his theory:



If he can enjoy American Pie which has hundreds of nasty jokes, though they have good intentions, how can he deem this to be vile if it has hardly any? It's not a mean-spirited or not all in good fun. Ebert failed to recognize this, I suppose, because, if anything, it's teen movies not containing potty humor he doesn't like. He didn't like Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys or Donnie Darko either, but it took a porn star for him to make a scene.
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 04.15.2004 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
If he can enjoy American Pie which has hundreds of nasty jokes, though they have good intentions, how can he deem this to be vile if it has hardly any?


I don't think we can measure Ebert's responses against one another merely by crunching numbers. Tallying the number of raunchy jokes doesn't seem relevant; like all of us, Ebert is responding, first and foremost, to a general tone. In his reviews for the American Pie movies he clearly states how feels the tone and comic skill justify the raunch, and in his review of Girl Next Door he clearly states how he feels the tone and comedy isn't justifiable. I don't smell a double standard here, merely a difference of opinion.



Danny Baldwin wrote:
Ebert failed to recognize this, I suppose, because, if anything, it's teen movies not containing potty humor he doesn't like. He didn't like Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys or Donnie Darko either, but it took a porn star for him to make a scene.


Let's not jump to hasty conclusions. Careful readings of Ebert's reviews of Altar Boys and Donnie Darko reveal that he disliked them for many reasons, none of which related to their raunch or lack thereof. And our memories shouldn't be selective, either. To say Ebert, by default, likes raunchy teen flicks but not clean ones is to willfully ignore his glowing reviews for the harmless Ghost World, Almost Famous, George Washington, and even Spy Kids. And I think his pans of raunchy comedies like Boat Trip deserve notice.



I'd say that Ebert hasn't shown any glaring contradictions in taste; to contrive blanket statements about his position regarding raunch seems rather reductive. I very often disagree with his overall assessment of a film, but his rationales are generally sound--the thing about art is that it can inspire a wide variety of disparate responses, for a wide variety of disparate reasons.



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 04.15.2004 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="beltmann"]
Danny Baldwin wrote:
Tallying the number of raunchy jokes doesn't seem relevant; like all of us, Ebert is responding, first and foremost, to a general tone.


I think he's misunderstanding the intended tone. Misunderstanding isn't the same thing as not liking.
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Danny Baldwin
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 04.15.2004 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Tallying the number of raunchy jokes doesn't seem relevant; like all of us, Ebert is responding, first and foremost, to a general tone.


I think he's misunderstanding the intended tone. Misunderstanding isn't the same thing as not liking.[/quote]
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.15.2004 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Misunderstanding isn't the same thing as not liking.


And misunderstanding isn't the same thing as holding a different opinion. Surely Ebert is aware that many people are praising this movie--and by extension has considered that perspective--and has rejected that view in favor of what he feels is more accurate to his experience? It requires a great deal of presumption to assume that he merely "misunderstands" the movie--especially when that movie is The Girl Next Door.



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 04.15.2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The simplest movies are the hardest to understand for him. Then again, he manages to like AP2. More over, I don't understand where he's coming from. Very Happy
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Fred C. Dobbs
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PostPosted: 04.15.2004 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No interest. *shrugs*
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 04.15.2004 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to his AIM profile, Mark Dusjik gave it ***1/2. If he were only still on the board to aid thy side.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.17.2004 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally caught it yesterday, and I confess I think I saw the same movie Roger Ebert saw.



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 04.17.2004 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tisk, tisk, tisk. Bad Beltmann. Wink
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stefanieduckwitz
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PostPosted: 04.17.2004 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Laughing
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.18.2004 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we're meant to accept that Danielle awakens Matthew to the pleasures of being a little "wild"--and I'm skeptical the movie really does much with that well-worn theme--then why does she want to leave porn? Wouldn't working in the industry be a natural, logical extension of her belief that behaving "naughty" is inherently exciting, cool, and healthy?
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 04.18.2004 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea presented is that she wants to leave porn when she has begun house-sitting and before she has met Matthew.



Plus, the two things are very different. There is a noticiable difference between distributing a video containing sex to thousands of men and climbing into a nearby pool that just so happens to be Matthew's principal.



I don't think the point is to put emphasis on the Danielle character at all. She's a mere exaggeration to study the behavior of Matthew, which is so terrifically done by Hirsch.



Then, of course, there is the opinion that pornography has askewed her senses, and she only realizes what is happening until he takes her to the motel. She finally has risen to what she thinks is best for her by the end of the film, and I'm not so sure she would've done the same thing in the beginning (ie: the stunts).



Here's the difference between the "wild-girl, nerdy-guy" movies and "it." Is the result because of Danielle's "wild-side" or the situation she's embodied herself in and Matthew's reactions amidst such an atmosphere? This is where Greenfield's significant use of style comes in, and pays off.
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