Girl Next Door
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"The Girl Next Door" follows a subject getting a lot of attention in documentaries these days. The world of porn. For two years, director Christine Fugate followed Stacy Baker and documented her transformation from an Oklahoma housewife with an abusive husband to the heights of porn stardom as Stacy Valentine. The film does not sugarcoat Stacy's life in any way. We see her unsuccessfully try to maintain a relationship with her boyfriend while still "acting." By the end, I really felt sorry for this woman who is so desperate for recognition that she travels all the way to France to receive an award for her work in adult films. I was also shocked to learn that those moans of pleasure we hear in adult films are often fake, proving that thos thespians who appear in porn can act after all. We also observe Stacy's pursuit of the perfect body as she goes through numerous surgeries for breast enhancement and liposuction. These scenes are graphic and startling. Any thoughts I had about getting breast implants have completely disappeared after seeing this film. "The Girl Next Door" is a compelling documentary that tells its story without being exploitive. (Which is really difficult considering the amount of nudity in this film, but trust me, it's not erotic.) "Scared Straight" taught young boys about the dangers of a criminal life and the world inside prison. "The Girl Next Door" could be for girls what "Scared Straight" is for boys, showing the dangers of certain lifestyles. Any girl even considering entering adult films as a profession should see this film so that they are aware of the harsh realities. --Chris Gore, Film Threat
5 Stars. Intelligent, well-made film, fascinating. This film makes my top ten list and is a heartbreaking journey into a world seldom seen. --Mick LaSalle, SF Chronicle
Top Customer Reviews
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR follows Stacy around for her romp in porn and her alleged retirement (whether the retirement worked out, I cannot say). Although interesting, it suffers the same disadvantage as all other movies and books of this type, specifically that the subject herself, as well as those attracted to the same field, are not exactly geniuses of introspection. Stacy seems likeable and we all wish her the best. But she also comes off as painfully immature and more than a wee bit self-centered. In an environment in which her looks meant her business, perhaps it is no surprise that Stacy seems more often focused on herself rather than others, and more concerned with her appearance than something deeper. But whatever the cause, the end result is the same.
Too bad, because, again, she does seem rather nice as a regular person. At times, we see that side come out. Her scenes with her mom in particular display some evidence of an inner life. That side, though, remains hidden (non-existent?) to those outside that exceptionally small circle.
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR takes a more sympathetic angle when examining its subject (probably a necessity if the director wanted any cooperation from his star). One cannot help but smile when Stacy wins her award for being some Best Porn Star, or something like that, and sleeps with the trophy on the pillow next to her.Read more ›
Stacy comes across as a nice but neurotic young woman with serious emotional issues related to men, body image and trust. In other words, she is exactly the type of person who does not belong in the adult industry. But, on the other hand, she does manage to turn her 4 year stint in the porn biz into alot of money and an apparently lucrative career as a fashion designer. So it's difficult to feel too sorry for her.
In the end, Stacy seems to be a girl of average intelligence who (outside of her work) has fairly conventional values and leads a rather ordinary, even mundane, lifestyle. Personally I find someone like Nina Hartley, who views sex work not just as a job but a means of personal liberation, to be a more compelling subject than a regular gal like Stacy.
The story is at least intriguing enough to hold my interest. But Christine Fugate is a mediocre director and the editing is lousy. Basically, the film skips from scene to scene with no particular purpose. The soundtrack is lame and the plastic surgery footage is gory to the point of being unwatchable. A few scenes are mildly erotic. But if you are seeking out this film solely for it's sexual content then you should look elsewhere.
This isn't a terrible film. But, for me, it was far too ordinary.
However, GIRL NEXT DOOR manages to wiggle around (pun intended) this gray area throughout about 60-70% of the time by concentrating on the life of porn star (legend!) Stacy Valentine, who, quite frankly, is strikingly beautiful with or without clothes, for that matter. The best moments of this exploration of Stacy Baker's life (her real name) deal with Stacy discovering her passion for sex, her passion for working in the sex industry, and her passion for entertaining others. She speaks frankly to the camera in some wonderful moments that give the viewer a look at the psychology many women in the adult film industry must confront ... whether it be overly adoring fans, manufacturing (through plastic surgery) a better body (Stacy, you looked fine BEFORE the implants), and maintaining a positive self-image despite being secretly loved by hundreds of thousands of fans ... and still feeling quite empty. In these moments, you get to know Stacy Baker, not Stacy Valentine, and, call me old-fashioned, but that's the woman any man (or woman) could easily fall head over heels for. Stacy Valentine, on the other hand, steps comfortably into the world of adult business, and it became very hard to distinguish her from any of the other actors and actresses briefly covered in the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautifully told tale of a Midwestern girl wanting to make something of herself. The producer captured real, raw emotional moments where you feel very connected to the leadPublished 9 months ago by StickyBunz
Lots of twists and turns in this story (as told by Stacy Valentine and her friends). It might be exaggerated in places, but it most definitely has the ring of truth. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Larry Reid
I accidentally ordered this thinking it was another movie. I couldn't get through more then half an hour.Published 11 months ago by EM
In 1996, Stacy Valentine tried acting in a pornographic movie, and decided that she wished to make a career of it. This 1999 documentary follows Ms. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Alice in Wondland