‘The Girlfriend Experience’ Talky, Enjoyable

The hooker thing has been done before; the call girl thing has been done before; and the escort thing has been done before. But for some reason, The Girlfriend Experience is unlike anything I've ever seen. Pretty Woman was a hit because despite its modernized story about a prostitute, it still remains a basic 'happily ever after' movie. But no movie has ever shown you the real, raw facts of life. In life, sometimes there are no happy endings and fairy tales. No pixie dust or romance. Just the cold reality of the world. Director Steven Soderbergh captures the creepiness, the real life troubles that in perspective we've all experienced before, whether it be a break-up, being stood-up, depression, anger, fear, etc…and for that, Soderbergh is a fucking genius.

The Girlfriend Experience happens in the months before the 2008 presidential election between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain and documents the story of Chelsea (played adequately by real life porn star Sasha Grey), a Manhattan call girl. The plot could be spiced up a bit, but all in all the movie rocks. Grey was a risky choice to put in a major movie, coming from such adult films as I Wanna Bang Your Sister and Teenage Whores 3, thus my hat goes off to Steven Soderbergh for risking a crappy flick and hiring her when nobody else would. The story behind The Girlfriend Experience may have been porno honey Sasha Grey however director Soderbergh taking on a project such as this is the real deal. How puzzling! The Georgia native has filmed cult classics like the Ocean's trilogy and The Good German yet he goes from these money-makers to a movie in limited release (which in the end equals not a lot of dough) along with an R-rating. Could he just want to go back to directing Oscar winners like 2000's Traffic? He's sure not going to return to the Academy Award scene anytime soon with this, but damn do I love him. Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Ocean's Thirteen) once again team up for Soderbergh's masterpiece to write the script.

It goes way over your head and that may be the majority of the reason that fans (and some critics, yikes!) disliked it, nevertheless The Girlfriend Experience grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go. The Obama vs. McCain jokes got even me snickering a bit. Steven Soderbergh's latest picture ranks top ten on the list of the best movies so far this year. He kind of launched Sasha Grey's cinematic career (she'll star in both a drama about quitting smoking and in a Lee Demarbre film this year) and continues to make screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman famous. From the controversial tagline ("See it with someone you fuck") to the lengthy talky scenes, The Girlfriend Experience is nothing short of an enjoyably movie.

3/5 stars.

About this entry