Cora spends her days begrudgingly answering phones at a Prayer Call Center under the watch of well-intentioned leader Bill. When a caller shows up convinced he's been saved by her voice, she must decide if she's the one he thinks she is.
William H. Macy,
Over the course of a single day, four different men visit a massage parlor looking for some kind of emotional or physical connection. Simultaneously, the film explores the complex emotional experiences of the women who work there.
In Los Angeles, Jaron "Jizz" is a needy teenager that was molested when he was a child and works publishing advertisements for the sex industry. He discounts one hundred dollars in his paychecks to release Tara, who works in a peep-show in Paulie's, for the powerful lord of the sex industry Jimmy Sours. He teams-up with the whore Balery, who is seeking out a partner to steal from a rich client, to raise the necessary money to pay Jimmy. Mr. Garrett is the perverted Health teacher of a high-school; his sluttish students Melody and Courtney like to tease him, crossing their legs while wearing mini-skirts to see him masturbating in his car. Mr. Garrett takes them to join the Internet porn industry and to use pills, and Melody is raped by the sick teacher. The escort Chantel attends kinky clients to satisfy their fantasies and is protected by her pimp Wes. When Wes tries to force the entry in a client's house, the man reacts and the lives of the lead characters are entwined in a tragedy. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
To start off with, I'm habitually bad at objectively rating movies. I know this, my wife knows this, and everyone around me knows this. I'm the kind of guy at the theater that likes a movie but can't explain why. If I like a movie, I like it 100% - and if I hated it, I'll recommend against people watching it.
"On the Doll" was the first movie I ever actually watched that I felt I could objectively rate and comment on without throwing some over-the-top rating to it. There's a LOT of reference to sex, but virtually no nudity. The theme is based around this post-high school, "grunge" style of direction that seems to be rampant amongst the college generation. In other words, the director tries to set the stage for the film on the backdrop of a sub-culture that many people are unaware of. He does this from three different angles: The Prostitute, The Teenagers, and the Hero.
Now, from the premise of the movie - we were supposed to be inundated with life revolving around people who were sexually abused as young kids. Honestly - I found this part of the movie very lacking, and not that I wanted them to explore this verbatim, but I would have liked the back stories to go a bit more in depth. In the end, it left the idea of the movie and the characters stagnant at best. For saying this was the main premise of the movie - you don't really get a look into how they seem to feel about what happened to them. Book after book has been written on the subject from people who have been abused, and I think if you were going to use that as the focal point of a movie - you would, in the least, spend time going over the mental backlash that such atrocities would inflict on young minds.
The director spent more time trying to play a catch and grab game with the audience - that in my opinion, failed miserably. There were certain characters you absolutely hate, others that you love and respect, and some you feel indifferent about. The fact is, if this movie could be rated as half-way decent, it's because of the acting.
In the end, I think it's safe to say that the movie ended quite abruptly and didn't really seem to accomplish much. The character development was strong, and I feel like each story told a very different tale of life in the "sex lane" - but to elude that this movie in anyway represented victims of abuse is just a tag line to get people to watch it. This was a quaint drama with opposing forces mixed in that didn't really accomplish much of anything.
I went into this expecting good things, but was left slightly dissatisfied and felt the presence of good, upcoming young actors was all that saved it from being horrid.
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