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Way back in the sepia-toned days of 1983, frustrated young men such as Risky Business’ Joel Goodson craved simpler pleasures: getting into a good college, doing doughnuts in pop’s Porsche, and having sex on the El with a shifty hooker. In 2004, confused 18-year-olds such as The Girl Next Door’s Matthew Kidman still desire top-flight schools and hot wheels, but getting involved with a call girl just isn’t a risqué enough fantasy anymore. So bring on the porn stars! In the sweet, smart, and sexy-as-hell The Girl Next Door, student-council president Matthew Kidman (saucer-eyed charmer Emile Hirsch) is so devoid of life experience that he’s unable to come up with an “I Will Always Remember…” blurb for the yearbook. He wants to cut loose, but the pressures of landing a “moral-fiber” scholarship to Georgetown are keeping him on the blah and narrow. That is, until he peeps his barely clad new neighbor, Danielle (24’s Elisha Cuthbert, a knee-buckling mix of Drew Barrymore and Jenna Jameson). Naturally, the budding porno princess with the heart of gold falls for nice guy Matthew—as he falls into her sin-soaked world and jeopardizes his button-down future. True, from the burbling technotic score to the bookend voice-overs to the symbolic name play (Goodson + Kidman = We get it already), director Luke Greenfield does borrow a bit too much from the Tom Cruise classic—not to mention from The Graduate and Almost Famous. And his musical cues—“Under Pressure,” “Baba O’Riley”—are so throwback they’re musty. But it’s easy to overlook the movie’s missteps. Hirsch and Cuthbert display a genuine lost-in-love chemistry, Chris Marquette and Paul Dano are adorably awkward as Matthew’s loyal-to-a-fault pals, and scene-stealer Timothy Olyphant is basically a semi-benevolent Guido the Killer Porn Producer, a cocksure scuzz who wants Danielle back on her back. It helps, too, that the script is a lot sharper than it needs to be: There’s no hip-kid vernacular, Danielle never has to apologize for her profession, and a first-kiss scene at a potentially disastrous high-school party packs a surprising punch. Oh, and for all you folks wondering if the film’s breakout gets naked, you’re in luck: Hirsch has a great ass. —Sean Daly