The Girl Next Door review by Matt Fuerst


I certainly wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of the radio guy Howard Stern, but back when he was on terrestrial radio I would tune him in on occasion. Generally the highlight for me was when he had a porn starlet on the show. Inevitably, Stern would get around to asking the woman point blank why she hated her father. Half the time they told a story of abuse, neglect or worse; The other half of the time they denied any family problems, only to later be ground down to the truth ("Well there was this one time my dad beat me senseless...."). When The Girl Next Door arrived in my mailbox, a documentary about Stacy Valentine, porn mistress, I had a feeling there was going to be some daddy-hate issues.

Producer/Director Christine Fugate wastes no time getting to the crux of the matter, showing some early home movies of Stacy's life, and interviewing her where she declares she last saw her father when she was 16 years old. Not really shocking, it in fact gave me a good chuckle when the revelation came to light, thankfully the Earth is still spinning (as soon as the truly well adjusted woman enters porn, I am positive it will come to a screeching halt). Valentine, growing up in podunk Oklahoma was raised to be a wife and achieved her goal early. Her hubby was into the skin rags and encouraged his eager-to-please wife to send her pic into Hustler to be the reader-hottie-of-the-month. She did so, won, and so impressed the editors was offered a photo shoot in Mexico. She accepted, flew to Mexico and the taste of freedom, along with Mexicano hoagie, convinced her she was tired of the bored Oklahoma wife scene. She dropped everything, including the hubby and jumped onto the proverbial bus to Hollywood.

Stacy isn't the smartest person in the world, in fact, I feel pretty confident I could routinely beat her in tic-tac-toe (yes Stacy, that is a formal challenge). But that's fine, because Stacy knows that she isn't MD material. She found one thing she was good at, riding the baloney poney, and she decided to do that. I have respect for that unashamed job selection. Plus the world needs more porn. (I say without sarcasm. The more the merrier.) Stacy has her rise in stardom. She stars in movies, getting a grand or more for a days worth of work (depending on what goes in which hole). Stacy buys a house in Hollywood, jumps from distributor to distributor, has failed relationships, and gets lots of plastic surgery. Getting filled out like an application is a bit tiring on the old chassis, and after about 18 months the whole "dumpster" thing gets a bit tiring on Stacy, and she begins to contemplate life outside the industry. Stacy isn't exactly equipped to become a dental assistant, what's an actress to do?

The Girl Next Door certainly provides an interesting look into the porn industry. I have to say there's nothing too surprising going on her. The visits to the sets shows they truly are "all business" and are so clinical it's hard to find them sexy. Stacy, our subject, can be viewed as one dimensional, she does porn since she didn't mind it and likes the money. She refuses to have relationships, is tired of maintaining an "unobtainable" level of beauty. But there is more there, or at least there's enough material to grab your interest for a 90 minute documentary. I don't think Stacy is going to be writing prose any time soon, but she's a person at an unusual profession struggling with the same trials you and I go through - will someone love her? You know, all that usual girlie baloney.

The Girl Next Door is presented full frame 1.33:1. The picture quality could be better but for an independent, small team documentary it's very acceptable. The DVD is pretty bare bones, with a simple clip from Stacy's "retirement party" and a few other miscellaneous extras. Outside of the movie itself, the DVD has a mandatory trailer before the movie for some Arabian love drama. You can't fast forward, skip or go to the root menu. You must watch the 2 minute, 30 second trailer. Good lord I was punching myself in the forehead and trying to think about the naked hotties I was about to see to allow myself to sit still for 150 minutes of forced trailer viewing. Don't get me wrong, I generally watch trailers and go out and seek trailers for new films. But don't ever force me to watch one. They almost lost me before the movie began.

6 out of 10 Jackasses
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