Projections - Movie Reviews

The Girl Next Door The Girl Next Door

Director Christine Fugate's The Girl Next Door is a documentary which reveals the naked truth in the porn industry by following the career of Stacy Valentine.

Far more honest than Bogie Nights, we see Valentine being applied with makeup on all parts of her body and her agony as her body is changed through plastic surgery.  The enhancements are not the only thing revealed as we observe the marking up and cutting of her skin and sucking machines pumping fat from her body.  She is attacked by ants during a scene near a pool, freezes in forty degree water for a take, becomes ill when smoke for a scene fills her lungs and must take a test for AIDS every thirty days.

Fugate doesn't pull punches as Valentine is often framed in non flattering scenes.  She is also fully reveled and performs various sexual acts which are not completely seen but obvious to the viewer.

Her relationships appear limited; her husband initially pushes her toward the industry by suggesting she pose nude.  Hustler magazine does a full spread with her and a male companion, which causes her husband to leave her.  What did he expect?  Valentine found she enjoyed the attention and that she was good at sex if nothing else.  Her boyfriend during part of the filming also can not completely accept her work, even though he works in the business.

The film allows Valentine to point out that women in the porn industry make more money than men.  It also reveals that some good looking men can't perform sexually and body doubles are used when that occurs.  She is involved in what can only be described as early adolescent style love affairs.  They only last a short time and each of her lovers are quickly made jealous.

Her mother is non judgmental and encourages her daughter - it's not necessary to earn Ann's approval and love.  That appears to be the only unconditional love in her life except for her two cats George and Gracie.  Fame is the flame she is drawn toward, she is dashed when she fails to win at an adult film award ceremony and sheds tears of joy when she is selected in France as the new comer of the year.

Watching Valentine carry out every day tasks allow us to believe she is quite ordinary, except for her unusual occupation.  We also learn of the dark side which now includes AIDS.  What may look glamorous and exciting just isn't; ask Linda Lovelace.

The Girl Next Door

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