Indies: The Girlfriend Experience
“If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn’t be paying you.”
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.
RIYL: Shadows, Medium Cool, Irreversible.