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The porn star Moon spends her time working, nursing her widowed father that has Parkinson disease and with her friends Jessie and Martine. Her boss Aronson gives a new contract to Moon to be signed. Moon has a blind date with Jessie's friend Kip and they feel a great attraction for each other. When Jessie asks Moon to test the fidelity of her boy-friend, Moon decides to offer the service to other customers. But when she meets the dangerous Terry, she reevaluates her life and her relationship with Skip. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After the success of the inexpensively made trade movie "Boogie Nights," one might expect a series of even cheaper and less skillful ripoffs. The usual trajectory for ripoffs would be more sex and less character.
I suppose in some ways, we wouldn't have "This Girl's Life" if we hadn't had "Boogie Nights," but this film is actually pretty good. If the earlier film was mostly an ensemble effort, this one depends on Juliette Marquis. We see things almost exclusively from her point of view. She's a porn star with a heart of gold and some brains. It sounds like a cliché, but she pulls it off okay. She's not exactly beautiful but she is sexy and exotic and has a nasal voice that sometimes drops into the lower register.
But Marquis gets surprisingly good support from such mainstream players as Rosario Dawson, and adequate support from Cheyenne Silver, a genuine star of sex films who has a fresh-faced attractiveness that suggests she grew up on a farm and fed on nothing but cream and ripe strawberries. Anyone who wants to see what she looks like all over can easily have his curiosity satisfied with a bit of effort.
James Woods is super as Pops, Marquis' father who is stricken with Parksinson's disease. He's a courageous actor, wandering around in public with what seems to be an enormous head and a shrunken flabby body. The only investment of ego on display is his talent.
If "Boogie Nights" showed us that the sex movie industry of the 1970s was like a family, "This Girl's Life" demonstrates that the family is not entirely functional these days. The head of the studio keeps carrying on paternally about how we are all one big -- incestuous -- family, but when he wants one of his girls to do something that she does not want to do, he prompts her to do a line of coke and shoves her roughly against a wall. Spare the rod and spoil the child, you know.
The director has Marquis talk directly to the camera on several occasions, as if this were a reality TV show. She shows us how a microvideocamera works, a "spy camera" like that used in police and FBI stings. And there are times when scenes appear as if shot with one of those tiny cameras, all fuzzy and with horizontal lines. Not sure what the point of that was. And I'm not sure what happens to Pop either. His case seems to be hanging in the air at the end when, after a violent encounter with a man whose life Marquis has just professionally put an end to, she takes off with her naive young monogamous lover.
I assume -- I HOPE -- that she finally got back to taking care of Pops, because his disorder is rather advanced and it would take him an hour to peel a banana.
In any case, the very amateurishness of some of the performances contributes to the documentary feel of the film, but it's a documentary that is emotionally charged.
A surprise, well worth watching.
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