MOVIE REVIEW: “THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE” STARRING SASHA GREY

the-girlfriend-experience-poster-preview-30402-1238647127-2

Looking for the dirty thrill of ogling a real porn star, Sasha Grey, as she plays a high-priced Manhattan hooker doing a suck-fuck Kama Sutra? Then, dear God, steer clear of The Girlfriend Experience. Grey, 21, is there, all right, but director Steven Soderbergh, 46, has no interest in servicing the panting john in us. His movie, stylishly shot on the high-def cheap, runs 77 potently sexless minutes. Its subject isn’t erotica, it’s commodities trading. The time is a few days before Obama’s election, and Grey’s Chelsea shores up her war chest in a free-falling economy by charging $2,000 an hour for sexual healing. Chelsea’s got overhead (accountant, manager, website, clothing line). She might as well be a Hollywood player, which is Soderbergh’s point. What do you call trading another Ocean’s flick to do an art film such as Che?

Chelsea defines cool, deflecting a pushy journalist (New York magazine writer Mark Jacobson) and blowing off a porn reviewer, played with skeevy relish by legit film critic Glenn Kenny, who offers a money review in exchange for free samples. His revenge review is a hoot. Kenny is a jolt of comic life, much needed in a film that keeps its distance even when Chelsea falls for a client — a no-no in Chelsea World and in her live-in arrangement with her boyfriend (Chris Santos), a personal trainer with his own agenda for whoring upward. The switch from detachment to feeling seems more willed than persuasive in the script by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who collaborated with Soderbergh on Ocean’s Thirteen. Emotion doesn’t ring true here. Adult Video News Award winner Grey sure as hell can’t act it, and Oscar winner Soderbergh can’t sell it. Twenty years after his debut, Soderbergh is still putting sex and lies on tape. What makes The Girlfriend Experience a fresh provocation is not the new ways available to build a fantasy but the near-impossibility of negotiating one you can actually believe in.

PETER TRAVERS (Rolling Stone)

One thought on “MOVIE REVIEW: “THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE” STARRING SASHA GREY

  1. Please check-out Pietrobruno’s GFE: GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE. You might find the film (and the interview link below) interesting.

    INTERVIEW:
    http://www.toromagazine.com/?q=node/1606

    SYNOPSIS:
    A man obsessed with prostitutes discovers that love is a lot more expensive than sex. A peek into the world of prostitution from the client’s point of view. Movies often portray sex-workers, but their customers remain well hidden – faceless and nameless. Pietrobruno’s GFE: Girlfriend Experience calls attention to this bias, at the same time as it shifts the cinematic gaze onto the client.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s