Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > The Girlfriend Experience Review

The Girlfriend Experience Review


The Girlfriend Experience

The Girlfriend Experience is one of the most cleaver and unique movies I have seen in 2009. Wonderfully edited and performed it is a must see for any movie enthusiasts.

My rating 4 Stars

One of my top 5 favorite directors of all time has to be Steven Soderbergh. When I hear the title of a movie, if it sounds like it’s not going to be good, my mind is quickly changed when I hear Steven directed it. I trust him to direct a good film because that is what he does. He is a great director; one of the best. When I first saw the title for the movie The Girlfriend Experience I was not impressed. I had visions of Ben Affleck in some sort of romantic comedy or something similar. I did not think I was going to like this movie at all. When I read the short synopsis of the film I was intrigued, but still cautious.

Netflix synopsis reads as follows:
Filmed in about two weeks on a budget of less than $2 million, director Steven Soderbergh’s experimental feature focuses on the life of a high-priced New York City call girl, played by bona fide porn star Sasha Grey. The movie tells its tale in nonlinear fashion, throwing random scenes at the viewer, who must piece together the puzzle to understand the story. Other than Grey, the actors are nonprofessionals who improvised many of their scenes.

I must admit, I was nervous. I was not looking forward to seeing a movie that starred a porn star. I won’t lie to you like some idiot and say that I have never seen an X-Rated movie. I have in one point or another, watched porn—strictly for the articles of course! I am sure that a lot of people have too. Porn is a multibillion dollar industry, someone is watching. But enough of that. My point is that everyone knows that it doesn’t take much talent to act in a pornographic film. All that is required is that at least two (and in some cases just one) willing “actors” perform an act (a basic sex act) that comes totally natural to any living mammal being. Acting skills are at the absolute bottom of the requirements for a porn star and that is abundantly clear if and when you watch one of these films. In any case, I was not expecting much from Sasha Gray, the porn star who starred in this movie. On the other hand, this is Steven Soderbergh we’re talking about and he knows how to recognize talent. We’ve seen him bring a cast together that works perfectly over and over again in movies like Traffic, Erin Brockovich, The Oceans series. One can never argue that the actors in his films were wrongly casted, but yet I was still bothered by the thought of a porn star in this role. I would soon be pleasantly surprised.

Sasha Gray was outstanding, she fit the role perfectly. This movie was outstanding; it was one of the most unique films I have ever seen. Don’t let the editing style fool or deter you in anyway, while the scenes were randomly shown leaving you to mentally cut and paste scenes together so that they make sense in your mind. It wasn’t done is a way that would take away from the enjoyment of the film. Watching the film is a total experience; it made you interact with the film and almost involved you in the story by putting your mind to work while watching the film. The film was unique and it was just pure genius the way in which Steven put this film together. Every scene started out with a bit of a mystery because they were talking about events that hadn’t happened yet, but if you listened closely they would touch on previous scenes and basically complete the idea or thought of that pervious scene and finally make sense of it, however, it also left you with questions that would soon be answered in the subsequent scenes.

The film was also unique in other ways. As the Netflix synopsis explained, the only “real” actor in the movie was Sasha Gray, everyone else was nonprofessional actors, people we have never heard of. They were all wonderful and every scene was perfectly executed and well performed. It almost gave the film a bit of a documentary look and feel and that added to the realism of the film.

The Girlfriend Experience is a one of a kind movie. I absolutely loved it and I would watch it over and over again if I could. It has become one of my favorite Steven Soderbergh’s film. However, would I recommend this movie to people? I’m not so sure. It is a great film, don’t get me wrong, but it is also an odd film. I would say if you love to watch different styles of movies, for sure you will find this movie as fascinating as I did. However, if you just want to see the good guy versus the bad guy, don’t bother with this movie, you will most likely hate it. This film is for diehard artsy fartsy fans who want something unique and different. I hope you enjoy it.

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  1. August 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Nice write-up. I liked this movie overall, and it seems like there are a lot of people out there willing to hate on it just because of who the female lead is.

  2. August 12, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Thanks! And you’re right, it’s too bad really. We can be so prudish in this country some times.

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