movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: A Manhattan call girl meets several challenges in her life.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Whore leaves  boyfriend.

PEOPLE: Directed by Steven Soderbergh — who makes both movies that I really like (Sex, Lies, & Videotape, Erin Brockovich, Traffic), movies that I hate (Solaris, Full Frontal), and movies that I sorta like but not enough to watch the sequels (Ocean’s Eleven). I’ll be watching The Informant! at a later date, and if I am not impressed, I might start to swear Soderberg off. There’s simply too many movies by him that I don’t like — and I only dislike about 5% of what I watch, so that doesn’t speak well for him.

Starring well-known porn-star Sasha Grey, playing an escort. Not really a huge stretch. It was good casting. Sasha is so reserved and calculating — in real life, in her porn films, and in this movie. Though I’m not really a huge fan of her–her eyebrows wig me out a bit.

Carolyn adds: Sasha Grey‘s face kept reminding me of a mixture between L Dubs and someone else.. but I knew L Dubs wasn’t quite right… then last night sometime, I realized, it wasn’t L Dubs, it was her sister Megan before she became blonde. Just slightly… just enough to make me think of L Dubs and her sisters, but not totally. Her way of talking very very very slightly reminded me of Clint’s friend Pam T.

I can see, a bit, why Carolyn would say that, though I don’t fully agree.

QUIRKS: This movie is basically all dialog. It jumps around in a slightly non-linear fashion. A lot of it was improvised by the mostly non-professional actors it starred.

VISUALS: No, Sasha Grey doesn’t get naked. (Other than 1 brief moment.)

SOUNDTRACK: No score whatsoever. Gives all the dialog a very immediate and personal feel, as if you are part of the conversation. Actually, there’s 2 songs. But they are barely noticeable or present.

MORALS: Too complex to briefly summarize, but there is the basic idea that if you pay someone to be with you, they don’t *REALLY* like you. But at the same time, they show that even this rule can be broken.

POLITICS: A lot of political talk in the movie, but it was never the focus. Just whining about the bad economy, and a guy who insists on voting for McCain because he’s Jewish and wants to ensure Israel still exists. But the movie itself actually isn’t really political, other than showing the effects of the economic downturn on several supporting characters.

BAD STUFF: Slightly confusing with the non-linear aspect, which seems more appropriate in a trippy thriller like Pulp Fiction than in a film like this one, where it distracted from the insight rather than added to the experience. At one point, Carolyn thought she’d get more out of it if she watched it again, so that she would know to pay attention to the continuity.

And of course, people complain about Sasha Grey‘s acting. That she is distant, or cold. THAT’S THE POINT. Getting a real life porn star to play the role only adds to the authenticity of such a distanced and detached portrayal. I knew the role was going to end up portrayed the way it was before I watched the movie. Other people just aren’t getting that, and they aren’t getting that that is the point.

CONCLUSION: An interesting insight into the lives and motivations of “escorts”.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. “It was kind of iffy, almost picked up to a 7.4, then fell back to a 7.0.”

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.8/10, Netflix: 2.5/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 2.8/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re interested in the mentality of sex workers, check this out.

MOVIE QUOTE:

Chelsea: Sometimes clients think they want the real you, but at the end of the day, they say they don’t. They want what… they want what you want to be. They want you to be something else. They don’t want you to be yourself.
Interviewer: Suppose I’m that rare client that really wants to…
Chelsea: If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn’t be paying you.

Mood: awake
Music: Type O Negative – Are You Afraid? / Gravitational Constant (live)