Reviewed by: Joe Sinko
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What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer
Is there a way to overcome excessive lust for sex? Answer
Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Read article
|Featuring:||Elisha Cuthbert (24, Old School, Mail to the Chief. Time at the Top)
Emile Hirsch (The Emperor’s Club, The Mudge Boy, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys)
Timothy Olyphant (Dreamcatcher, A Man Apart)
James Remar (2 Fast 2 Furious, Duplex)
Paul Franklin Dano (The Emperor’s Club)
|Director:||Luke Greenfield (The Animal)|
|Producer:||Charles Gordon, Harry Gittes, Marc Sternberg|
|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
“Matt never saw her coming… but all his friends had!”
Plot Outline: A teenager’s dreams come true when a former porn star moves in next door and they fall in love.
This movie is a takeoff on the Tom Cruise movie “Risky Business.” The story line is about a young women (Danielle) who is attempting to get out of the pornographic movie business and “regain her innocence.”
Danielle temporarily moves next door to Matthew (Emile Hirsch) to house-sit for her aunt. Of course, she is very beautiful and captures Matthew’s attention right away. Matthew is a smart, ambitious young man who is trying to go to Georgetown University after graduating High School. His goal is to one day become the President. He is also helping to raise $25,000 to bring a “brilliant young man” called “Samnang” from a poor country to live and go to school in the United States. However, the idea is that Matthew’s life is a little too “flat,” and needs to be spiced up. The story surrounds him and the innocent relationship he initially develops with Danielle.
One of Matthew’s friends, however, is very perverted and discovers that Danielle is actually a porn star. This “friend” encourages Matthew to capitalize on the situation and take her to a hotel, because he is sure that she will be easy to get sex from, and that’s what he himself would do.
This friend of Matthew’s is very obnoxious and perverse—constantly using the f-word. Never once were his parents shown during the movie, and he spends all of his spare time watching and thinking about pornography. It is very disturbing.
As the story develops, Danielle gets very upset in the hotel room and decides that there is no point in trying to change—she is going back to the porn business. This leads to a very nasty encounter with her “producer” who steals all of the money that Matthew has been saving to bring Samnang to the U.S. Predictably, and just like the plot in “Risky Business,” Matthew has to find a way to recover the $25,000. And, of course, the means is through making a porn movie featuring his high school friends and porn stars.
“The Girl Next Door” is designed to appeal to the lasciviousness that is running rampant in our culture. It is predictable, awkward, full of profanity and nudity. It pokes fun at the use of ecstasy and portrays the majority of high school kids as morally bankrupt. It falls way short of the movie trailers, except the ones used to imply that it is “every boy’s fantasy to live next to a young beautiful porn star who will fulfill their sexual desires.”
This is a porn movie, make no mistake. It should have been rated “NC-17.” There are many elements that I found filthy and offensive. The movie pokes fun at “normal” kids who are doing their best to get a good education and become contributing citizens in society. It implies that casual sex and pornography are generally harmless things that really hurt no one, and that using drugs will make you funny and enlightened.
The Bible warns Christians to set their minds on things above, not on the things of this Earth (Col 3:2), and that “marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). Over and again, the New Testament tells us to flee those things that would defile our minds and spirits. This movie fits very well into that category.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
Reviewer’s response: I read Bob’s opinion (above), and I’m glad, if that’s what he got out of it. However, I disagree with Bob for some of the following reasons:
- Porn was overwhelmingly treated with a funny and cavalier attitude throughout the movie.
- Porn was far more glamorized than demonized. The movie didn’t really show the seamier aspects of those who are in “the industry” and the tragic effects it has on the people who make and watch the movies. The movie never gave an accurate portrayal of how porn destroys the lives of those who work in it, and those who view it.
- The young man who was “addicted” to porn spent nearly all of his free time watching porn videos in his bedroom. We know what that would really do to the mind of any person, as well as how they tend to think that females are mainly to be used as men’s sexual objects. Yet, this young man given almost hero-like status in the show. The audience seemed to laugh at almost everything he said and did.
- There were no serious moments of discussion in the film about the personal devastation that comes to those in porn, or those who use porn. Even though the character did want out, and to improve her life, she went back to it rather unhesitatingly when she was disappointed. There was not one moment for some serious reflection on reality, or to have your heart moved by the pain these people go through.
- Seeing a movie that uses a very weak, and very disguised moral message about “the evils of porn,” can never be a substitute for sound Biblical counseling. People who are addicted to porn are not going to wean themselves off of it by going to a titillating movie, and getting fed the mental imagery for over 90 minutes. It’s kind of like an alcoholic going to a bar to swish a little beer around in their mouth while watching other people drinking, and then saying “man, I learned once again why I shouldn’t be drinking beer!” 1 Cor. 10:13 is a great Scriptural truth about escaping temptation. And in 1 Cor. 15:33 says “Evil company corrupts good habits.” It seems to me that the best way to stay free from that which once had you in chains is to not play around with it anymore. There are far better ways to get a therapeutic look at what porn really does to people, like seeing the videos that Focus On The Family produced about Ted Bundy.
Editor’s Note: Various good books are available on this subject.