Easter-oriented puns were abundant in media headlines this week as The Passion of The Christ stunned the film industry by—you guessed it—"rising again" to the top of the box office. Mel Gibson's film earned $15.2 million over the holiday weekend, increasing its total gross to $353 million in seven weeks.
The Passion's triumph was assisted by the fact that none of the new films opening had much positive buzz.
When a teenager (Emile Hirsch of The Emperor's Club) falls for the ex-porn star (Elisha Cuthbert of TV's 24) next door, he is drawn into a caper that takes him from the corridors of his high school to the lap-dancing rooms of a strip club.
Director Luke Greenfield's film The Girl Next Door is rated-R, but the ads and previews are clearly tempting under-age viewers. Even those old enough to get in to see the movie without a chaperone might need to have their maturity level checked. How many people are really able to laugh about the idea of a high school porn star?
It gets worse. Mainstream press critics are giving the film stronger reviews than any of the other major new releases this week, including a historical epic and an animated family film from Disney. (It's worth noting that they also liked it better than The Passion of The Christ.) Only a few critics are willing to take a stand against such subversive and base material, including Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times).
But religious press critics are unanimous in arguing that this "comedy" is capable of earning only the most unhealthy sort of laughter.
"It's an adolescent male fantasy—the sexy porn star who actually has a heart of gold falls for the nerdy fellow," explains Anne Navarro (Catholic News Service). "She pulls ...1
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