Around The World in Eighty Days

Starring Matthew Kidman, Ellisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant. Directed by Luke Greenfield.
Running Time: 110 mins.
Rated: Rated MA.
Matthew Kidman (Hirsch) is a geeky kid at a local high school in LA. He lives on the fringe of the 'in' group at school and desperately wants to belong. Matthew's dreams come true when Danielle (Cuthbert) moves into the house next door. He recognises her as a star of pornographic movies, but Danielle has now retired from her former occupation. Love blooms between these next-door neighbours, and Matthew finds himself the most popular kid in school.

When Danielle's former manager arrives to entice her back into the porn game, he has to deal with Matthew.

Many teen flicks parade around as slightly serious films with a good dose of soft pornography within them.

The only thing going for the girl next-door is that it is honest enough not to make a pretence of saying anything serious at all. It's just soft pornography. And of the worst type. The flesh it bears and the atmosphere it creates just stays on the MA side of the guidelines for an R rated film in Australia. As a result it is as morally bankrupt as it is confused.

To add insult to my viewing injury this film evokes the name of the famous Jesuit University in Washington DC, Georgetown. It is Matthew's preferred place for tertiary study. At one stage his parents are worried that his 'friendship' with Danielle is distracting him from achieving his life's goal of getting into Georgetown. But hopefully Georgetown would be smart enough to stay away from accepting the application from the lecherous Matthew.

At the risk of encouraging contrary teenagers to go and see this film, I unreservedly warn against it for everyone.

Fr Richard Leonard is the director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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