Indies: The Girlfriend Experience

“If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn’t be paying you.”

The Girlfriend Experience (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

With Sasha Grey and Chris Santos.

Not all of Steven Soderbergh’s movies are great, but I really admire the way he can make mainstream flicks like Erin Brockovich and Oceans Eleven only to turn around and make tiny experimental films like this one. The Girlfriend Experience chronicles the struggling relationship between a high-priced escort and her personal trainer boyfriend in the days leading up to the 2008 election.  It’s a back-and-forth narrative that’s told in an appealingly fluid and rhythmic style, bringing to mind the films of John Cassavettes.  The story just never really grabbed me, perhaps because I thought a lot of the dialogue seemed really unnatural.  The ending was also really anti-climactic, which might be the wrong word for it given the context (har har har).  It’s not for everyone, but serious fans of independent film might want to give it a look.

Rating: 5/10

RIYL: Shadows, Medium Cool, Irreversible.

6 Responses to “Indies: The Girlfriend Experience”
  1. 5 out of 10? I thought you liked it more than that. I thought it was in the ten best films of last year and the screenplay by David Levien and Brian Koppelman was pretty tough. I also think it’s Soderbergh’s best since Traffic.

  2. You haven’t yet seen “The Informant!”

    Anyway, the screenplay was okay. It just bothered me that the characters were always talking about the economic crisis, but they never really SAID anything about it.

  3. I have seen “The Informant!” and I just couldn’t get into it.

  4. Whoops. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

  5. Simon/Ripley says:

    I was fairly impressed with Sasha Grey, from what I saw (not much…my library doesn’t carry it, due to involvement of a pron star, curious, because they have Cry-Baby), but otherwise, meh.

  6. I thought she was ok, but wasn’t really asked to do much since her character had to remain very reserve and unrevealing.

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