What does it take to be a porn star? And what does being a porn star do to the psyche? The Girl Next Door shows you more than you may ever want to know about the, ahem, glamorous business of the skin trade, and my is it an ugly sight.
The subject of this humble documentary is Stacy Valentine (nee Stacy Baker), an Oklahoma housewife driven to amateur, soft-core photos by her clearly white-trash husband. As many men soon discover, be careful what you wish for: Stacy loves it so much she flies to Mexico for a Hustler photo shoot. Then it's on to Hollywood for a career in adult films.
Starring in such films as Cafe Flesh #2, New Wave Hookers #5, and My Horny Valentine just can't be good for a person, and my how that turns out to be true. Stacy gets round after round of cosmetic surgery, explicitly shown to gruesome effect. Stacy goes to a hypnotherapist to help her feel better about herself. Stacy goes in and out of a relationship with a costar. Stacy screws a rich Frenchman for the money, then rolls around in hundred dollar bills. All in the pursuit of what appears to be her main goal in life: Recognition as a great porn actress.
We see Stacy's heartbreak when she doesn't win Performer of the Year at the cheesy Adult Video News Awards. We see her triumph when she wins Best American New Starlet in Cannes. She even calls mom to tell her the great news.
Filmmaker Christine Fugate's portrait of Stacy, shot over 2 years, is like watching a multi-car wreck that gets longer and longer. She's obviously headed downhill in an eternal spiral, and despite her promise to go into a new career as a makeup artist, it's painfully obvious that it's never going to happen.
The Girl Next Door is a rare cautionary tale that every aspiring actress (adult or no) should see.
Probably the only time we'll legitimately be able to put a picture like this up on our site.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
It will feature on the forthcoming album 'Both Sides of the Sky'.