You’ve probably seen her as Luke Wilson’s Lolita-like fling in
“Old School,” as Kiefer Sutherland’s daughter on the hit TV show
“24,” or as Maxim’s March cover girl, but starting Friday, you will
get to see much more of Elisha Cuthbert in the new comedy “The Girl
In the movie, Emile Hirsch (“The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys”)
plays an ambitious high school senior named Matthew who is
instantly smitten with the mysterious, new girl Danielle (Cuthbert)
who just moved in next door. Love is in the air and Matthew and
Danielle soon fall for one another, but their bond is put to the
test when it is revealed that, gasp … Danielle is an ex-porn
To prepare for the role, Cuthbert said that while she “didn’t
watch any porn,” she did “go through a bunch of Playboy magazines.”
She also “met a bunch of the (porn star) girls” to get the look for
her adult film star alter ego, Athena.
“The girls I met were wonderful,” Cuthbert said. “(It was)
amazing to me how confident they were and what entrepreneurs they
were. In their spare time they’re just like me and all my
As for Cuthbert’s own confidence with taking on such a sexual,
as well as leading-lady role, she said, “Luckily for me Danielle
wasn’t happy being a porn star. I feel like I knew what I wanted to
do with this movie, and what I wanted to do with the character. It
just felt right.”
Luckily her inclinations paid off because “The Girl Next Door”
is one of the best teen comedies in recent memory. The comparisons
to “American Pie” and “Risky Business” are inevitable, but the film
also has a feeling refreshingly similar to the John Hughes’ comedy
classics from the ’80s like “Weird Science” and “Ferris Bueller’s
This is something that ultimately attracted the 21-year-old
actress both to the movie as well as to her surprisingly
nudity-free involvement in it.
“It reminded me of the movies that I remember watching when I
was growing up,” she said. “You watch a movie like ‘Weird Science,’
which is about two boys and their dream girl, and she never shows
her breasts, she never shows her ass and that’s ingenious.”
“The Girl Next Door” includes a memorable scene early on where
Matthew sneaks a peak at the newly arrived Danielle as she changes
her clothes in front of a window. Cuthbert thought that if she had
gotten naked, “What would there have been to look forward to for
the rest of the film?”
That’s not to say that those drooling at the thought of seeing
Cuthbert as a porn star will be disappointed. The movie earns its
R-rating with ease, but it balances the sexiness with sweetness and
does so without skipping on the laughs.
“The Girl Next Door” is likely to propel Cuthbert’s star status
as well as earn her some new admirers to vie for her affection. I’m
sorry to report, however, that Cuthbert has a boyfriend. Though
don’t let that discourage you too badly because although she may be
a famous actress, she is more than willing to date someone outside
of the Hollywood limelight.
Actually, Cuthbert said she thinks it is better and in fact, her
current boyfriend works in the music business, but is not an
Cuthbert said she feels that, “opposites attract and compliment
each other,” a belief that mirrors her own love life with that of
her character in the movie.
All this may leave all those average Joes out there wondering
how they can woo such an assumedly unattainable girl like Cuthbert.
She said that for her it’s all about the first impression.
“I think that first initial conversation is very important,” she
said. “I want to wake up the next day and think ‘Oh my God, that
guy was pretty cool.'”
Despite her fame, fortune and place in the top ten of Maxim’s
Hot 100 for 2003, Cuthbert is not so different than you or me. No,
she is not a college student, but she did say that some additional
years of schooling might be in her future.
“That’s one thing I think about at night,” she said. “I feel
like maybe at some point (college) will be in the cards for me, but
not right now.”
She is a self-proclaimed “couch potato,” enjoys listening to
Outkast, and when she does go out, she likes to dance and drink
Jack and Coke.
“I’m a Jack and Coke girl. I’m so proud of myself because I have
never once thrown up from drinking in my entire life. I’m not a
Cuthbert recommended the children’s medicine Pedialyte as a cure
for many college students’ worst enemy, the hangover. “You just
swig that and then you are, like, boom! Fine.”
That sounds like a celebrity endorsement deal in the making to
me, but if Elisha’s star-making role in “The Girl Next Door”
propels her acting career as significantly as it very well could,
this actress will likely be bombarded with many more enticing
offers with which to occupy her time.
Movie: 3 out of 4
Run time: 1 hour 49 minutes
Showing at: Carmike 10 and Cinemark 16