The Girlfriend Experience

The Girlfriend Experience movie poster
MPAA rating: R
Genre: Drama
In the time leading up to the 2008 Presidential election a call girl (Sasha Grey), deals with her clients, her boyfriend and work.
Starring: Sasha Grey, Chris Santos
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Running time: 1:17
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Editorial Review

In "The Girlfriend Experience," Steven Soderbergh's icicle-sharp portrait of a modern-day lady of the evening, the hooker with a heart of gold gives way to the fantasy date with the business acumen of a Wall Street banker. What's more, the director who helped such stars as Julia Roberts and Benicio Del Toro garner the highest industry laurels, has cast a porn star whose approach to acting is so, shall we say, discreet, one would need to engage a private detective to ferret out anything that smacks of a performance.

Soderbergh tracks several days in life of Chelsea (Sasha Grey), a self-employed call girl who commands $2,000 an hour and a clientele that can drop that sort of change without losing a wink of sleep. In exchange, they get time in Manhattan's chicest restaurants and bedrooms with a good listener whose killer wardrobe befits her drop-dead looks.

Buried deep beneath all that is a driven daughter of commerce who is just as ambitious as her high-rolling johns and every bit as stressed over the impact of the plunging economy. The only guy who gets to see the real Chelsea is her live-in boyfriend, Chris (Chris Santos), a gym trainer who is similarly motivated by a competitive market to push his body-oriented skills to the next level.

The film manages a career-spanning panache: Soderbergh taps into the nervy impulses of his earliest endeavor, "sex, lies and videotape" as well as "Ocean's Eleven." "The Girlfriend Experience" has something to elevate and exasperate fans of both.

-- Jan Stuart (May 22, 2009)

Contains sexual content, nudity and language.