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The Girlfriend Experience

USA 2009
produced by
Mark Cuban, Gregory Jacobs, Todd Wagner for 2929 Productions, Extension 765, HDNet Films
directed by Steven Soderbergh
starring Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Philip Eytan, T. Colby Trane, Peter Zizzo, Ron Stein, Marshall Gilman, Michael Roberts, Vincent Dellacera, Jim Kempner, David Levien, Mark Jacobson, Alan Milstein, Sukhdev Singh, Ted Jessup, Stuart Levine, Marvin Stein, Dennis Shields, Steve Klapper, Glenn Kenny, Ben Finkelstein, Michael Sugar, Caitlin Lyon, Daniel Algrant, Kenny Blunt, Smokey West, William Holt, Adam Awaiz Yaqub, Christina Nadeau, Timothy Davis, Deborah Fineman Bozik, Jenel Stevens, Howard I.Josephs, Shakerleg, Galya Vidal, Erika Parys, Ken Myers, Elon Dershowitz
written by David Levien, Brian Koppelman, music by Ross Godfrey

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Chelsea (Sasha Grey) is a top prostitute in New York City, one that doesn't only give her clients the obvious (and that would be sex of course) but also the feeling she is their girlfriend, and to that end, she has a file on each client of hers as a way to remember his background and their previous dates to quite some detail. On top of that, Chelsea is quite intelligent and cultivated, in order not to give anyone the feeling she is just a cheap streetwalker.

Chelsea also has a boyfriend, Chis (Chris Santos), who seems to have no problems with her profession. But playing the lover of any number of men is not without its dangers, dangers like falling for a client for real for example, which happens when she meets writer David (David Levien), with whom she emotionally bonds all too quickly, and when he asks her to spend the weekend with him - a big no-no regarding her relationship with Chris, who wants her for himself at least then - she says yes without hesitation, and even breaks up with Chris because of this. Thing is, once she's at the resort she was to meet him, David calls to say he can't come because he's got a family back home - which leaves her in tears, naturally ...

 

Basically, the notoriety of this film is based on the fact that hardcore pornstar plays its lead, a prostitute (even though there's very little actual nudity, let alone sex, in this film), and lovely Ms Grey shows enough self confidence and charisma to actually carry the film, and even seems to have a natural acting talent only rarely witnessed in her porn work. Apart from Sasha Grey though, The Girlfriend Experience is decidedly less than great, a little film shot in pseudo independent/arthouse style that takes a very long time to tell very little, that is filled up with scene after scene of people just talking about nothing in particular, and that features a story that has already been told much more entertainingly in the British TV-series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (a series which admittedly had other flaws). That all said, The Girlfriend Expecience is still an ok movie, one just can't shake the feeling that Sasha Grey and the audience would have deserved a better film.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD