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Girlfriend Experience, The


Stars: Sasha Grey, Chris Santos

Director: Steven Soderbergh

In between his Ocean's Eleven films and the occasional indie gem, the prolific Soderbergh does make some very odd films and this is one. A virtual cinéma vérité look at the shallow and empty life of a high-class hooker, it fails to interest us in its characters and comes to an end before what little story it has seems to have been told.

Christine (Grey), who makes her living as an 'escort' called Chelsea, has lived for 18 months with Chris (Santos - most of the cast play characters with their own Christian name) who works as a fitness trainer in a gym. The relationship is tested when Chris wants to go with Vegas with his pals, and Christine, yearning for a bit of class, decides to go away for a weekend with a married writer she's met on the Internet.

Neither partner is happy with the other's plans, although it's Chris who seems to have most cause for complaint. And Christine's 'ambitions' take a dive when she's rejected for a 'harem'-style trip to Dubai as being cold and unsexy, minus factors that could also be applied to Soderbergh's film.

Hard to see from this why Grey has beconme such a big star in soft-porn films (this is her first 'legit' role). She's isn't exactly voluptuous and her monotonous delivery betrays her lack of ability as an actress. Back to the movie basement I think.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Revolver. Technicolor.
77 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 29 Nov 2009