The Girlfriend Experience (R) 78 minutes A
Sex and the Human Condition
Starring Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Glenn Kenney, and Peter Zizzo
The Girlfriend Experience is the most intriguing film I’ve seen in 2009 so far. It’s directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by the same two guys who wrote Oceans Thirteen (which is amazing because the two films are polar opposites).
I saw The Girlfriend Experience several days ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. The film follows Chelsea (Sasha Grey), an upscale Manhattan escort who provides the ultimate "girlfriend experience (gfe)" to her clients. Simply put, time spent with Chelsea is like time spent with a girlfriend, albeit, one who has no sexual inhibitions and will cost you a cool $2000.00 a night.
Chelsea caters to successful businessmen in varies fields, she goes on dates to the museum, the movies, expensive dinners, but mostly listens to the men complain about politics, their jobs and the economy. Sex isn't always on the agenda, sometimes her clients just want to feel adored and listened to.
The film is set in New York City shortly before the 2008 Presidential election. This adds an interesting element to the film because there's a sense of panic over the economy and in stressful times there's no better escape than the solace of sex, beauty, passion and companionship- it's human nature and Chelsea delivers.
The other masterstroke of genius in this film is Soderbergh's casting of Sasha Grey, a real life porn star who has acted in over 100 porn films. She is absolutely brilliant in this role giving it authenticity, her character is very believable as she projects sex as strictly business. I'm not sure if she could act in a more traditional film but here she is completely captivating.
The Girlfriend Experience is definitely not for everyone, perhaps it's more of a niche film. But I loved it and would pay money to see it again; there's not a lot of films I can say that about these days.