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The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

Cast: Sasha Grey, Mark Jacobson, Glenn Kenny
Director: Steven Soderbergh
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Independent
Running Time: 81 min.
Languages: English

The Girlfriend Experience stars adult film actress Sasha Grey as Chelsea, a high-priced escort who offers her wealthy clientele the eponymous service. In other words, on their long, often overnight "dates," she assumes the role of a temporary romantic partner, attending highbrow cultural events, engaging in intellectual discourse, and eating at hip and expensive restaurants, all while expressing an interest in the client's life and work. She keeps a detailed journal about her clients. Chelsea's live-in boyfriend, a personal trainer (Chris Santos, who previously worked as a personal trainer in the real world), struggles with trying to earn a fair share of the upscale business he brings into his gym. Chris is conflicted when a wealthy client invites him on a weekend trip to Vegas. The couple faces further problems when Chelsea finds herself sincerely attracted to one of her clients, a married screenwriter. Over the course of the film, Chelsea is interviewed by a journalist (played by real-life journo Mark Jacobson, whose reporting on Frank Lucas inspired the film American Gangster), and visits "The Erotic Connoisseur," a sleazy blogger who reviews escort services (portrayed by film critic Glenn Kenny). Director Steven Soderbergh shot The Girlfriend Experience (under the pseudonym Peter Andrews) using the same high-definition camera he used on Che. The script is by the writing team David Levien and Brian Koppelman (Rounders), who previously worked with Soderbergh on Ocean's Thirteen. The Girlfriend Experience was shown at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. As with Soderbergh's Bubble, it was released theatrically and on pay-per-view on the same date. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

If you can't have narrative, at least have a story... by emdoub November 13, 2009 - 10:54 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
First off - Sasha Grey's acting was fine. The script didn't ask much of her, but she delivered competently, and she's decorative in undies - any controversy about her being cast in this part is pretty stupid.

On the other hand, the script didn't ask much of anyone - an 'unstuck in time' sequence of parts of scenes tells something of a story - a slice of life for a high-end call girl in New York. Her boyfriend gets far more upset about her going off for a weekend than I understand, and she has some minor-to-middling disappointments. She shows that she knows how to bargain when she shops for pre-paid cellphones (though why she's shopping for them is never revealed).

Toward the end, in her conversation with a journalist, it's commented on that her emotional armor is thick, and very few will get behind it. This may be the point the writer and director are trying to make - but not seeing behind that armor is not what I invested the time in.

Not bad, actually - but not what I wanted, and not something I care to repeat any time soon.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.41)
17 Votes
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