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Girl Next Door (2005)

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Christine Fugate

The Girl Next Door represents a sincere and enlightening portrait of a complex individual. Her stage name is "Stacy Valentine", and her list of credits list includes exactly 69 adult movies, including a number of popular titles. She has been working … see full wiki

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1 review about Girl Next Door (2005)

Would You Be My (Stacy) Valentine?

  • Feb 28, 2006
  • by
Documentaries -- especially those in the caliber of late night 'Showtime' or 'HBO' infotainment (or 'skinertainment,' as I've heard it called) tend to suffer from one serious shortcoming: it's near impossible to take anyone serious, especially when it comes to having frank and open conversations ON CAMERA relative to the one of the world's most intimate acts: sex ... which does rank just behind love, yes.

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.

Also, there are moments in the documentary exploring the life of Stacy Valentine that, clearly, had to have been staged for the purposes of the narrative that explores her brief career on top (yes, pun intended, too). In what appeared to be a largely single camera production, Stacy Valentine walks in and out of scenes that clearly had to be set up for the purposes of pushing the story forward. In moments of desperation, Stacy Valentine lies in the bed pondering the meaning of certain events in her life, and, though I don't doubt Stacy Baker dealt very personally with some of these difficult subjects, they didn't feel quite real. That's a shortcoming that follows many smaller documentaries around, so it's an easy gimme, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Be warned: this film isn't necessarily about titillation, though there are moments I'm sure the most involved viewer will be captivated. This isn't a soft core flick about the life of being a porn star. There are moments of seriousness of the dangers of the work, scenes of honest reflection about facing some of life's unique challenges, even a teary moments between Stacy and her mother chatting about the inevitability of death. For those of you seeking a skin flick, I'm sure Stacy Valentine's library can be found elsewhere (69 of them, to be precise). I don't say that to scare anyone off; I purchased the film based on some recommendations of documentary buffs (I guess there's a pun intended there, too), and, on that level, I found enough to enjoy. I'm no prude; I said she's striking, didn't I? I was pleasantly surprised with this small production, and, if you approach with an open mind, I think you will be, too.

If you want to know about Stacy Baker -- the person smart enough and definitely beautiful enough and saavy enough to become an adult screen legend -- then this is for you.

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