"Thus open the gates of paradise."

In this issue

The Girl Next Door

06 Apr 2002

I'm always harping about how much I appreciate a really good documentary film. Always. Ask anyone. So when one comes to my local rep cinema, I go. That's my motivation for seeing this film. I just want to make that clear. If you were to go, expecting to be titillated, I think you'd be disappointed.

The film follows Stacy around and gives you a pretty good feel for the complete lack of glamour being a porn star. The sex scenes are -- and if you're not ready for this, just look away -- acting. There's makeup, body doubles, big lights, crew, the whole thing. Very unsexy.

This film should be required viewing for anyone who is considering cosmetic surgery. In one scene, Stacy calls on her plastic surgeon to have her breast implants replaced, and to have her thighs and hips liposuctioned. She begins by dropping her gown in an examination room. A medical technician then uses a magic marker to sketch out where each of the incisions will be, echoing the sort of posters you used to find in butcher shops which showed you where the various cuts of meat came from. And then we get to see the operation. If we're strong. If we're squeamish, we get to see the tops of our shoes, or the back of the heads of the people sitting in front, or whatever else is handy. Suffice to say, changing out implants is about as far from sexy as you can imagine. From that point on, I found it impossible to look at her without thinking of her as a ductile layer of skin and fat hung on some skeletal foundation. Were we in an old Zen story, this would be the point where the master asks, "Where has her beauty gone?"

Related Sites

The Girl Next Door (Official Site)
The Girl Next Door (IMDB)