On the cusp of graduation, honour student Emile Hirsch’s quiet, orderly life is thrown intochaos when he falls in love with girl next door Elisha Cuthbert, who turns out to be a porn star.Hirsch’s reaction to this revelation drives a wedge between the couple, and pushes Cuthbert backinto the industry. Hirsch’s attempts to redeem himself lead him into deeper and deepertrouble.
This is not another would-be American Pie (though apparently the script started out…that way). Instead, its models would appear to be Risky Business and AfterHours. It does feel somewhat divided against itself, particularly with regards to the pornindustry, and keeps pulling back from its darker moments. At the same time, the performances,particularly that of Hirsch, keep the film very human, and ultimately quite touching. The filmis also surprisingly low-key, given its subject matter.
The 5.1 track has strong environmental effects. The music isn’t always as strong as it couldbe, though, sometimes coming across is a rather weak mix, undermining the effect director LukeGreenfield was after. There is also a slight harshness to the dialogue.
The picture (presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen) is excellent. The colours are strongand naturalistic, and have terrific flesh tones, blacks and contrasts. There is no grain or visibleedge enhancement, and the image is razor sharp. The dark scenes are completely free ofpixelation. A fine job.
Luke Greenfield’s commentary on Side A is a smart one, and doesn’t hold back fromdiscussing those aspects with the director isn’t satisfied. A pop-up trivia track can also betriggered, and the information that comes up might or might not have much to do with the movieitself. More commentary is available on Side B. Here is some scene specific comments fromHirsh (4 scenes) and Cuthbert (5 scenes). Greenfield is on hand again to discuss 16 deletedscenes (including the original ending). “The Eli Experience” consists of video pranks conductedat an actual porn convention. “A Look Next Door” is the usual promo featurette. There is alsoa still gallery, the theatrical trailer, and ads for the DVD releases of the feature, ClubDread and There’s Something More About Mary. The menu’s main screen, intro andtransitions are animated and scored, while the second-level screens are scored.
A much more thoughtful and, well, sweet film than I was expecting. Not perfect, but it istrying for something more than the usual teen comedy.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Pop-up Trivia Track
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Scene Specific Commentary by Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert
- “The Eli Experience” Featurette
- “A Look Next Door” Featurette
- Gag Reel
- Still Gallery