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The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

R  |   |  Drama  |  8 July 2009 (France)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 13,123 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 97 user | 169 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A drama set in the days leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, and centered on a high-end Manhattan call girl meeting the challenges of her boyfriend, her clients, and her work.


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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chelsea / Christine
Colby Trane ...
Waiter (as T. Colby Trane)
Peter Zizzo ...
Vegas Buddy #1
Marshall Gilman ...
Vegas Buddy #2
Michael Roberts ...
Vegas Buddy #3
Vincent Dellacera ...
Chelsea's Driver
Jim Kempner ...
Art Gallery Owner
David Levien ...
Mark Jacobson ...
Alan Milstein ...
Sukhdev Singh ...
Chris & Chelsea's Super
Ted Jessup ...


Chelsea (Sasha Grey) is a high-priced $2,000-an-hour call girl in Manhattan, offering a 'girlfriend experience': she'll dress with the client in mind, go to dinner and a movie, listen attentively to talk about work and finances, and she'll provide sex. It's October, 2008: a presidential election nears and the economy is in free fall. She has a boyfriend, Chris (Chris Santos), who's a personal trainer. We are shown five non-consecutive days in Chelsea's life. She's working on her Web page, talking to image consultants, and being interviewed by a reporter. She asks clients when their birthdays are and uses that for an astrological prediction. She's drawn to a new client, a writer from L.A. Should she break her rules for him? What if it risks her relationship with Chris? Should she invest in gold? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See it with someone you ****



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 July 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

GfE  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$204,112 (USA) (22 May 2009)


$695,417 (USA) (28 August 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Girlfriend experience" is a form of sex work (paid-for female companionship) in which a female prostitute behaves like a male client's girlfriend or shows (artificial) emotional intimacy beyond the sex act. See more »


Interviewer: We agreed to meet here and have this kind of situation, which is a transactional situation like the one you deal with all the time in your business, right? Now, we're up to this part where I'm asking you something that would actually be intresting to me, and I feel that you're holding out on me. I mean, the thing is that the inner you is really... I mean, there's... in this business it's all about appearance, right? If you weren't beautiful, nobody would be paying to bang you, right? To put it ...
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Crazy Credits

After the end credits, there's a brief scene of Chelsea washing a client's hair as he sits in a bathtub and talks about John McCain. See more »


Referenced in Teen Wolf: The Tell (2011) See more »


Written and Produced by David Holmes
Courtesy of Universal Songs of Polygram International Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Risks of Borrowed Eyes
9 June 2011 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Soderbergh satisfies because he is fearless in a way that Herzog could never be. Herzog goes toward danger in order to capture experiences, but he relies on cinematic methods and narratives models that are safe. Indeed, he never innovates or experiments here. As a result, we get lush operas about violent nature.

Soderbergh on the other hand seems ready to risk his soul, to destroy his career, to make an audience very unhappy if it allows him to surround his art. You never know; you never do. This is structurally less risky than the film he make with and about his wife, 'Schizopolis.' But it is about much the same experience.

The risk is only partially in building the character of a hooker around a genuine porn star. It is more in the assumption that close observation of the near-real will snap us into the ultrareal. Who else does this? Who else among successful filmmakers would put themselves on the line like this. Jarman perhaps, if he had been more widely seen.

And that is what happens. Because the insights here come not from what is written or what the actors do, but by what we see. The filmmaker is the character that is revealed because we define ourselves by the world we make. And he makes this, by looking for certain things between men and women. The killer risk is that he won't find it, or worse, if he does, he shows us who he really is.

The idea is remarkable. The we see through is actually interesting; he makes Sasha an attractive subject and casts his own foibles onto her boyfriend.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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