21 April 2004


The premise, style, acting, and direction of film 'The Girl Next Door' makes me want to vomit red, white, and blue shreds of fabric.

Tight-wad, do-good high-schooler falls in love with his new next door neighbor who turns out to be a porn star, turning his pristine world upside down. He eventually comes around to "loosen up" a bit, and she rediscovers her innocence in the sweet nerd.

So let's see: In the form of porn-star girl, America is presented with a challenge to its anti-porn conservatism. However, America, who has no other option but to relate to the protagonist in this particular cookie-cutter literary format, through a series of cutesy and humanizing (and ultimately universalising) anecdotes and pat affirmations of its moral code, eventually comes 'round, its morality stretched just so to now include and embrace porn stars. "they're just people after all" And the porn star is reassigned a state of grace, despite her previous fall from it.

"Boy, let me tell you, I was really put through the moral wringer. I was made so uncomfortable by this. Eeeew. She's a porn star. But in the end, I came 'round and I too could love a porn star. After all, it's just a girl."

The limited continuum of moral parameters within which this story can effectively happen is my concern here. There are actually people in this world somewhere who could care less about porn stars being a "hush hush topic" and might just simply not understand the HIGH STAKES this character is going through. And that these "high stakes" are completely framed within a secular Christian dialectic of salvation and redemption further illustrates the shallow and extremely specific group of viewers that may be effectively impressed by such a film.

But I should stop because I haven't yet seen the film.

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